Leafs' Sheldon Keefe, Sabres' Don Granato fined $25K for conduct toward officials

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe was one of two coaches fined $25,000 for his conduct toward officials. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

The NHL fined Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe and Buffalo Sabres head coach Don Granato $25,000 Thursday for "unprofessional conduct directed at the officials."

The pair are the second and third coaches to receive fines for conduct towards officials this season, joining Anaheim Ducks coach Greg Cronin in that distinction. He was fined in October.

Keefe and Granato both took exception to situations that occurred during their respective Tuesday games.

Granato disagreed with Sabres forward Zach Benson being called for a tripping penalty on Florida Panthers defenseman Niko Mikkola in Buffalo's 3-2 loss. The issue eventually resulted in a third-period bench minor.

The Panthers then used the ensuing 5-on-3 power play to score the game-winning goal.

"At some point, you've got to stand up for your team," Granato said via ESPN. "You're put in that position as a coach. It's a tough position to be in. But you can't sit and watch."

Keefe was more subdued when discussing his interactions with the officials.

During the Maple Leafs' 6-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, Keefe got into it with referee Garrett Rank. That eventually led to Keefe receiving a game misconduct with only 2:14 left in the contest. Toronto came into the game on a seven-game winning streak.

"Not going there, not going there," Keefe said when asked to discussed where this placed with other disputes he's had with referees.