[...] Following the Sharks' series-clinching overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night, Sharks veteran Jamal Mayers - via twitter - publicly criticized Kings coach Terry Murray for what is alleged to be a post-game show of disrespect. "Kings battled hard! Tough series with 3 OT games! Too bad Murray didn't have class to shake hands like players (who bled) and Asst Coaches," Mayers wrote in a tweet.
Or maybe it's just that you haven't been in a playoff series in so many years that you forgot coaches don't traditionally do that.
Meanwhile, teammate Devin Setoguchi also questioned Murray on Twitter. "Would like to know why coach of the Kings Terry Murray never shook our hands??," Setoguchi wrote. "Might be a first??"
In response to the backlash, Murray tells The Dreger Report he was among the first to leave the Kings bench to congratulate the Sharks' coaching staff and says shaking hands with all opposing players - while more prevalent post-lockout - has never been customary. It has always been about the players, my opportunity to complement the opponent is through the media which I did several times in the series," he said. "And last night I said that they were good enough to win four series in this year's playoffs [...]."
I don't have stats to back me up -- since, really, who would bother to keep track of such bitchy nonsense? -- but my memory of forty years of playing and watching hockey is that at the end of a series the coaches shake hands somewhere at or near the benches -- it used to be the case that the staff had to walk across the ice to get to locker rooms in most places -- and gradually over the years players, in some cases, started crossing to the opponents' benches to shake hands with coaches. At first, it was just team leaders -- captains and veterans -- since it would be a breach of protocol for a rookie to shake hands with the other team's coach, if the captain (etc.) hand not done so first. At some point, some coaches started going through the line. I never really paid much attention to it.
In current arenas, the home bench is connected directly to the locker-room, so the coach doesn't have to make the long walk across the ice surface.
I have seen coaches go through the line, but frankly I find it a little weird. The players are peers. Players and management are not peers. I don't want to think that my team's coaches or players are networking their way through the handshake line. But, really, this is not high on the list of unsportsmanlike behavior. Like, for example, diving, or, let's see, publicly complaining about your opponent in post-game tweets.