THE Manitoba Junior Hockey League expects to make a disciplinary ruling on Dauphin Kings head coach and general manager Marlin Murray today following an investigation into a well-publicized tirade at the St. James Civic Centre Thursday night.
With just under six minutes left to play in a 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Saints in the Sher-Wood Division semifinal, Murray went ballistic behind the bench, unleashing an animated, profanity-laced outburst towards referees Brett Montsion and Ryan Galley. A crazed Murray threw sticks, water bottles and various unknown objects at the officials.
One of the sticks hit an official in the leg.
Word of the incident spread quickly through the sporting world Friday, with a YouTube video of the rant finding its way to various websites and highlight shows.
MJHL commissioner Kim Davis, who was at the game Thursday, said the league will hand down its punishment today prior to Game 5 of the series, which goes tonight in Dauphin.
"We've looked at everything and have talked to everyone involved. I just want to give it a little more thought," Davis said Friday evening. "We take these situations involving any abuse towards our officials very seriously."
It's not clear why Murray went off like he did, but penalties appeared to be a factor.
The Saints, who finished 13 points behind the Kings in the regular season but lead the best-of-seven series 3-1, had 16 power plays, scoring on four. Dauphin had eight power plays in the contest.
Murray didn't want to officially comment before the league office made a decision, but he did express remorse over the incident. He could be looking at a fine and a significant suspension, one that could carry into next season.
Kings president Darren Russell said the Kings board of directors will discuss the incident in the coming days, but probably wouldn't make a decision on Murray's status with the club until the season is finished.
"We're still in the midst of a playoff series, and that's our focus," Russell said. "Obviously, we aren't pleased with this incident; that's not how we want the Dauphin Kings to be represented. We're aware of what happened and we'll talk about it once we have all the information.
"I'm not interested in making a knee-jerk decision on a good coach."
Murray has been one of the more successful coaches in the MJHL in recent years, leading Dauphin to the RBC Cup final in 2010.