Justin Bourne had a great recap of the situation at the time, with insights about how curfews work on hockey teams, and he debunks the notion, presciently, that it was anything as trivial as a fifteen minute tardiness in returning to the hotel.
Meanwhile, in a parallel universe:
(Cell phone rings.)
"Hello, Barry speaking."
"Coach, it's Alexander here. Sorry to call late like this, it is okay? You're not sleeping?"
"No, no Alex, I was watching Law & Order. What's up? You okay?"
"Yes Coach, it's everything okay. No problems here. I'm with Andrei."
"We left the hotel to come eat at the 'Tia Alejandra's Muy Loco Coyote Cantina & Go-Karts', it's far from the hotel, but the whole team is here, and you know, I'm a team guy, I wanted to be with my teammates. But we leave the hotel late, and traffic, and the waitresses very beautiful but slow, so we just get our food now. We think we may get back to the hotel late, maybe 11:15, 11: 30?"
"Oh, no problem Alex, eat your food, and come back with the rest of the guys."
"That's okay Coach, they're already on their way home, we're going to be a little bit later."
"No problem Alex, thanks for calling though, that's being a true professional. It removes any awkwardness if I was to run into you later in the lobby, or if a reporter saw you and told me about it later."
"Well yes, that's what I thought, Coach, with cellphones nowadays, all these problems can avoid with communication."
"I agree, Alex, cellphones now remove a lot of the necessity for trust and excuses and stuff like that. If there's anything wrong, one phone call can prevent a lot of headaches."
"Thanks Coach, we won't be too late. And don't worry Coach, we're not drinking, not too much, we have a beer, and the manager he sent this waitress, oh boy, and she made us drink a tequila, but that's it, that's all we're having."
"Alex, I trust you and Andrei, you're grownups, we all know you can enjoy a couple of beverages without it going overboard and affecting your performance the next day. You didn't get to be the leading NHL'ers that you are by messing up when it comes to things like that."
"Yes Coach, thank you. Our food just got here, so I will let you go now. Do you want anything, maybe we bring you the doggie bag?"
"No thanks Alex, that's very nice of you to offer, but in these fancy hotels we stay in, we always have the option of ordering room service, so if I want anything I'm set, even late at night."
"I understand Coach, next time we wake up late from the nap, maybe we get room service instead of going out to eat a dinner. Don't worry Coach, the manager he has our bill ready here, and he will have a taxi for us for when we finish, we should be back very soon."
"That's great Alex, you guys enjoy your dinner, and I'll see you tomorrow at morning skate. And thanks again for calling, that's the mark of a true professional, and it's a small courtesy, but it could prevent any big misunderstandings later on. Good night, and say good night to Andrei."
"Good night Coach, and I agree, with all of us having cell phones now, there is no reason for any problems never."