It hasn’t taken long for Brendan Shanahan to make his presence felt as the NHL’s new disciplinarian, replacing the much maligned Colin Campbell. Only a week into the preseason, Shanahan has doled out two suspensions, the first to Calgary’s Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond and the second to Philadelphia’s Jody Shelley, both of which were for boarding violations. Given the NHL’s new rules and hard-line stance on head shots and boarding, these suspensions were slamdunks for Shanny.
What’s especially nice is that the NHL has created short videos of Shanahan explaining what happened (with video replays), why it’s illegal, the discipline taken on the player, and some of the deciding factors in the decision. It’s great for the fans to be able to get a condensed and to the point recap of the situation. And with Shanahan himself in the video, it puts some accountability and ownership on the NHL for the disciplinary decisions that they make…or at least it makes it appear that it does.
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond’s hit earned him a seat for 5 games, one of which will be a regular season game. It was a classic boarding penalty: the player he hit had his backed turned towards him the entire time and made no effort to avoid contact. It was dangerous, stupid, and avoidable, which is exactly the type of hit the NHL wants to eliminate from the game.Shelley’s hit is about as easy a call as you’re going to get.
Get the rest here.