Today, I got beef with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. Now, Shanahan is an all time great player, having won three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings. He has 656 goals and over 1,500 games played. I enjoyed watching Shanahan play when he was a Ranger from 2006-08, as he was a great leader and a good mentor to the young talent on the team. Now, Shanahan’s current job is disciplining players who dish out illegal hits. Shanahan, in my opinion has been wildly inconsistent with his decisions league wide since 2011. For every suspect hit, Shanahan reviews the play and makes a video to help explain how he made a decision on a suspension or fine. I don’t understand how Shanahan got the job, considering that he has over 2,000 penalty minutes, and delivered multiple cheap shots throughout his career. But when it comes to the Rangers, Shanahan always seems to turn a blind eye.
This past saturday, the Rangers were in Montreal facing the Canadiens when Max Pacioretty left his feet and slammed defenseman Ryan McDonagh into the boards. Here is the video:
The Rangers went on to lose 3-0, and Rangers coach John Tortorella opened his post game press conference by asking the media “Let me ask the first question, how high did Max Pacioretty jump on his hit? Over/under?” The next day, it was announced that Pacioretty would talk with Shanahan about the hit, and right then and there I said to myself he won’t get suspended. The ruling came out…NO SUSPENSION!
This is the explanation:
“The Department of Player Safety examined boarding and/or charging infractions as the basis for potential Supplemental Discipline during the hearing.
Pacioretty was interviewed at length and the Department of Player Safety decided that Supplemental Discipline was not appropriate.”
That is a disgrace of an explanation, and clearly Shanahan has some screws loose in his head. Why was there a hearing if no suspension or fine was coming? Did you look at Pacioretty’s past history, which includes suspensions? You do that with Matt Cooke, why not Pacioretty? McDonagh is most likely going to miss games, which is a HUGE blow to the Rangers. How is there NOTHING?! It truly boggles my mind and makes me wonder if Shanahan got inappropriately touched during his time here with the Rangers. Something must have happened, cause he has hated us ever since he left. If this happened to Sidney Crosby, would the hit have been a suspension? I could bet everything I own that it would have been a suspension if Crosby was involved.
Here is a rule about leaving your feet, taken from NHL.com (with their great sentence structure…)
Rule 42.1 Charging: A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates or JUMPS INTO, or charges an opponent in any manner.
And here is a picture of the jumping hit:
Yep, no suspension for this play, despite the rules stating a player shoudln’t leave his feet when delivering a hit. It may not be charging, but the fact that he left his feet should have been enough to even just fine Pacioretty.
This isn’t the first time the Rangers have been perplexed by the leagues ruling. Go back to last years playoffs, when Carl Hagelin got a THREE GAME suspension for what Shanahan called an “intentional elbow”, despite Hagelin never receiving a suspension or even a five minute major EVER, dating back to him playing hockey as a kid!
Carl Hagelin gets three games for this, but Pacioretty gets nothing?
Brian Boyle gets jumped and punched over and over by Matt Carkner, who gets suspended for one game, but Pacioretty gets nothing?
There are tons of different examples of Shanahan’s inconsistencies, and it is laughable that the NHL appointed someone to discipline players who, besides playing hockey, has no experience in making these calls. Shanahan played most of his career where the rules are different, and I think Shanahan should sit down and go over his rule book some more because he is clearly making (or not making in this case) some atrocious calls. How can we take out these hits and make the game safer if you DON’T FOLLOW YOUR OWN RULES?!
Click on this link to see how Shanahan makes his decisions to suspend someone or not, pretty funny.