Nashville Predators Coach Barry Trotz was not a happy man in having to sit forwards Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn for Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Not because the disciplinary move after they violated a curfew on Saturday was a distraction for the Predators — because it clearly wasn't. Rather, because it's led to embarrassment for himself and team management, including some "what did you know and when did you know it?" stuff about the quasi-suspensions.
"There's a lot of speculation, and I'll throw this out because it's been asked on a lot of shows — we did not know before Game 2 [that Radulov and Kostitsyn broke curfew], we found out after Game 2, and hell would've had to freeze over if they would've played in Game 2…if I knew before. Plain and simple. That's how I am, that's how the management team is and that's how the Nashville Predators are run. There's a lot of speculation we knew, and that's a bunch of crap — we didn't."
One loose end regarding these suspensions — how did the Predators find out Radulov and Kostitsyn violated curfew, arriving back at their hotel at a reported 4 a.m. in Glendale?
Trotz appeared on "The Healthy Scratches" radio show on Team 1200 in Ottawa with Steve Lloyd and Jason York on Wednesday and revealed how the Predators confirmed the curfew violation. Said Trotz:
"It's funny. With technology, all you have to do is go to the front desk. It's amazing that your key will actually clock you in when you leave and you go into your room. A little tip for anybody who's checkin' curfews."
UPDATE: The Predators deny Trotz was discussing Radulov and Kostitsyn in the quote seen here, and that he was sharing an anecdote from a previous curfew violation with co-host (and former player) Jason York. They claim the hotel where the team stayed doesn't offer that technology.
You can listen to the interview in its entirety here; here's the full question and answer from York and Trotz. If it was taken out of context, it's not difficult to understand how:
JASON YORK: "I don't mean to make light of the situation, but someone said this to me yesterday and it reminded me of the time back when I was with the team, when you went to the video and you caught Jimmy McKenzie and David Legwand stealing the chairs.
"Somebody said this, and I don't know if it's accurate or not, but that you want to the video again. As far as hotel surveillance goes…"
TROTZ: "Yeah, well, you know, it's funny. With technology, all you have to do is go to the front desk. It's amazing that your key will actually clock you in when you leave and you go into your room. A little tip for anybody who's checkin' curfews."