Brendan Shanahan came into the staring role, the eyes of player safety, replacing a controversial Colin Campbell. He won the respect of many as he came out strong, handing out suspensions like candy and creating videos that explain in detail his decisions. I, for one, really liked the videos at first, and how he was handling things in the big office. Then the Milan Lucic’s hit on Ryan Miller incident happened, and Lucic went unpunished. That really bothered me. Maybe Lucic just has a thing for goalies. My dislike for the Bruins is well known, but a hit like that, no matter the player, no matter the team, is dirty. For Shanahan to just let him slide was, and still is, beyond me. That day he started losing my respect. Yet he did suspend Lucic for one game after this violent check to The Flyers’ Rinaldo.
People can argue down to the bone about whether the reffing is bias, or the NHL ‘high uppers’ prefer certain teams over the others, but there is no argument on Shanahan’s inconsistency. The playoffs are a week into motion, and seven suspensions have been handed out already. However a major one was missed.
In the Nashville Predators / Detroit Redwings series, Henrick Zetterberg checked Shae Weber hard and it went uncalled. Weber retaliated at the end of the game in a very unsportsmanlike way. First he slams Zetterberg into the glass, then shoves his head into the glass with extreme force. Zetterberg is very blessed and Weber is lucky that there was no injury as a result. Shanahan made no big deal of it, slapped Weber on the wrist with a $2,500 fine. Why? A. Because Weber has no prior history. B. Zetterberg was not injured. $2,500? That’s POCKET CHANGE to Weber, come on. Then Asham checks Schenn onto the ice, then punches him in the back of the head. Yet he gets a FOUR GAME SUSPENSION. Let’s look at the facts here. Asham A. has no prior history. B. Schenn was not injured. ??? Isn’t that the out that got Weber off from being suspended? They were both intentional, violent hits with a punch/shove to the HEAD afterwards. They both had no prior offenses. Neither resulted in an injury. Yet one gets a measly $2,500 fine and the other calls for a four game suspension. If you read this Mr. Shanahan, please, explain this one to me because I am not getting it.
While there was no official Shanahammer video on the Weber incident, here is what happened:
Here is the video for the Asham decision:
“The violent, vengeful nature of the cross check is unacceptable.” (Yet the violent, vengeful nature of Weber shoving Zetterberg’s head into the glass is ok.) “Once more, having cross checked Schenn to the ice, Asham goes further by punching in the back of the head.” (So I guess that Zetterberg’s was a love pat.)
Nicklas Backstrom has been battling intentional dirty hits by Boston, multiple people within the league feel that they are targeting his head as he has just returned from a long absence due to a concussion. He wrongly crosschecks Rich Peverly in the face, fortunately for Peverly, he was wearing a visor and was not harmed. I’m not saying that what Backstrom did was right. However, there is only so much provoking a man can take until they loose their cool. Boston is known for it’s dirty hits, targeting players, and provoking a player until they react and get a penalty.
Here is the Backstrom video on Shanahan’s one game suspension.
Let’s review. A. Backstrom has no prior history. B. Peverly was not injured. Again I ask ???? Inconstant!
What the NHL is lacking in all areas of discipline is consistency. I do understand that the referees have a hard job to do and they can’t see everything that goes on on the ice. However upon review of the games, there is plenty of opportunity to address what was missed by the refs. If Brendan Shanahan had a good reason for not suspending or fining certain dirty hits as opposed to multiple game suspensions on others, then I apologize as I am not an expert and have no idea what I am talking about. (And maybe, just maybe, Tampa will see fair calling next year. Yeah right, who am I kidding?)
Tonight there was a major hit on the Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa by the Coyotes’ Raffi Torres. Torres is a repeat offender. Hossa was taken off the ice on a stretcher, and taken to the hospital. There has been no word yet on his condition, however, it is being reported that he was released from the hospital.
Shanahan, you have a Shanaban to deal with here.
Here’s to hoping that he gets this one right.
Topics: Boston Bruins, Brendan Shanahan, Carey Price, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Redwings, Henrick Zetterberg, Marian Hossa, Milan Lucic, NHL, Nicklas Backstrom, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, Raffi Torres, Rich Peverly, Ryan Miller, Shae Weber