Just a few days in to his serving as the National Hockey League’s Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations, Brendan Shanahan has shown illegal hits are not going to be tolerated and the players responsible for these dirty hits will be paying for it.
Late in the second period of yesterday’s exhibition game between the Canucks and Flames, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond boarded Matt Clackson. Clackson never had any chance to defend himself because his back was turned towards Leblond for the entire play. Shanahan decided to suspend Leblond because he never tried to avoid or minimize the contact. Leblond isn’t new to suspensions as he was suspended for one game last October for instigating a fight with Washington’s Marcus Johansson late in a game. Shanahan decided that Leblond will be suspended for the remainder of the preseason (4 games) and the first regular season game totaling a five game suspension. A video explanation of Shanahan’s decision is below:
On Tuesday night, a similar situation occurred involving the Flyer’s Jody Shelley. About half way through the game against the Maple Leafs, Shelley nailed Darryl Boyce from behind and then fought Jay Rosehill, who came in defense of Boyce. Shelley was assessed 22 penalty minutes including a game misconduct. Shanahan’s hammer came down hard on Shelley, who has gotten suspended four previous times, including twice last year. Shelley will miss a total of ten games, an even split of five preseason and five regular season. A video explanation of Shanahan’s decision is below:
Brendan Shanahan did a great job on these suspensions. Not only was he able to suspend two multiple offenders, but he was able to set an example that illegal hits are not going to be tolerated at all. Now players know that they will have to responsible for any possible hit they throw, even if it is only borderline dirty. Thumbs up to Shanahan and the NHL on these suspensions.
More to Come..
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