Ziegler suspended Quinn from all coaching duties because he accepted a $100,000 signing bonus from Vancouver.
"Approximately three years ago, with regard to Mr. Quinn's signing by the Vancouver Canucks, the NHL took action which was deemed necessary to protect itself against any adverse public perception as to the integrity of the competition being presented," Ziegler said in statement released yesterday. ''Harsh measures, in the form of suspension, were taken in order to preserve this integrity.
"At all times prior to the incident and since the suspension was imposed, Mr. Quinn has discharged his club and league responsibilities in an honorable and exemplary fashion. Consequently, I am confident the single unfortunate episode which resulted in the measures taken by the league will hereafter be considered an aberration produced by various misunderstandings."
Under league rules, Quinn's signing with Vancouver was technically legal
because his coaching contract with Los Angeles had not been filed with the NHL office. But Ziegler said in suspending Quinn that there was a larger issue involved - the fans' trust in the integrity of competition.
The NHL president fined the Canucks $310,000 and the Kings $130,000 for their actions involving Quinn's signing with Vancouver, as well as the payment of money to Quinn by Vancouver and the fact that he continued to coach the Kings after signing with the Canucks. The fines were the maximum allowed by league bylaws.
"The circumstanes of January 1987 are well behind us," Ziegler said. "No serious damage was incurred by the league. In light thereof, it now seems little purpose is to be served by any restrictions relating to Mr. Quinn."