Posted on: December 10, 2011 7:52 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 7:54 pm
By: Adam Gretz
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andy Sutton had a hearing with Brendan Shanahan on Saturday, and later in the evening it was announced by the league that he has been suspended eight games for his hit on Carolina Hurricanes forward Alexei Ponikarovsky on Wednesday night. He was penalized two minutes for charging on the play, as he clearly left his feet and delivered a blow to the head of the Hurricanes forward.
It's already Sutton's second suspension of the season as he was banished five games for a hit on Avalanche rookie forward Gabriel Landeskog earlier in the year.
"While we acknowledge that on many big body checks a hitters feet may at times come off the ice to a certain degree," said Shanahan in his latest league video. "We felt the degree in which Sutton's skate comes off the ice is excessive."
He also added that Sutton's past history, which includes seven fines or suspensions in his NHL career, as well as the fact that Ponikarovsky did not suffer any major injury as a result of the hit, were all taken into account when reaching his decision.
Here is the full video, which also includes clips of Sutton's past run-ins with league discipline:
More NHL Discipline News Here
Posted on: December 8, 2011 10:13 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 10:29 pm
Buffalo Sabres forward Ville Leino was suspended one game for his elbow to the head of the Flyers' Matt Read on Wednesday night in Buffalo. Brendan Shanahan made the announcement, the third suspension of the day (Kevin Porter for four games and Andy Sutton indefinitely).
We'll let Shanahan take it from here.
The key points? Leino caught a break on two of the three things that Shanahan looks for: Read was not hurt on the play and Leino has no history of supplemental discipline to speak of. So that's the good for him.
But the bad? It was a reckless play, as Shanahan points out. He made a play on the puck by lifting up Read's stick and seemingly jostling the stick loose. The elbow that came up high afterward to Read's head was unnecessary and just a bad play.
Shanahan goes on to point out that the head was the principle point of contact. I'd argue the head was the only point of contact on the hit. It was quite literally a textbook definition of a bad hit they want out of the sport.
It also is going to leave Sabres fans wondering when they are going to get a call to go their way. It seems they have been on the bad side of nearly every possible questionable play involving them this season, most glaringly the non-suspension for Milan Lucic with his much-discussed hit on Ryan Miller.
This suspension is a slap on the wrist if there ever were one. A suspension pretty much had to be handed down on such an obvious elbow to the head in open ice. Luckily for everybody involved, it wasn't worse for Read.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 11:35 pm
In the second period of their game in Madison Square Garden, there was a really interesting sequence that unfolded. While on the power play, a Lightning slap shot took down Brett Connolly in front of the Rangers crease, leading to a breakout the other direction. The rush was finished off by Artem Anisimov scoring a goal. The place was excited.
Then all hell broke loose. Relatively speaking, of course.
Obviously pleased with his effort and the go-ahead goal, Anisimov felt like celebrating. That's all fine and dandy, until he decided to pretend his stick is a gun and aim right for Mathieu Garon and the Lightning net. Vincent Lecavalier wasn't happy as you might expect.
The ensuing scrum resulted in four minutes of roughing for Marc-Andre Bergeron, two for roughing on Steven Stamkos, two minutes for roughing on Downie and a 10-minute misconduct, four minutes for Brandon Dubinsky on roughing, two minutes to Anisimov for unsportsmanlike conduct, four for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct. Phew!
"It's wrong, we all know that," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "It's the wrong thing to do. He's a solid, solid guy who made a mistake. He's not an idiot."
"I guess I'm in a protective mode because he deserves to be protected."
Tortorella went on to say that Anisimov apologized for his celebration and that he'll be available to the media on Friday. Nor did Tortorella blame his former team, the Lightning, for their reaction, admitting that Anisimov crossed a line."Artie's not doing it to do anything against their team," Brad Richards added. "Artie won't do that again. He wasn't trying to embarrass anybody."
That would have been the end of and the sportsmanship of Anisimov would have been the only remaining talking point for the next few days.
That's until you see the replay again and wonder, where did Downie come from to join that scrum? That's right, the bench. That means an automatic suspension is coming his way -- if it's determined it wasn't a line change. That could be the one thing that saves Downie if they decide he was coming onto the ice for the next shift after goal, but it sure doesn't look that way.
Eric Godard learned the suspension lesson last year with the Penguins. Making it worse, Downie doesn't have a pristine reputation. Brendan Shanahan might add more games on to what could be a long suspension.
In the end, it was the Lightning getting the last laugh, winning in a shootout after a late comeback to end their five-game losing streak.
But back to the original celebration. Are you OK with Anisimov going gunny on the Lightning?
Posted on: December 8, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 7:24 pm
It was ugly, nasty and was a hit that has no place in hockey. Even worse, it resulted in Booth spraining his MCL and he'll miss the next 4-6 weeks as a result.
Here is the recap of the decision from discipline chief Brendan Shanahan.
This is the first time Shanahan has issued a suspension for kneeing, but if any was worth it, this was. As Shanahan points out, there were a couple of clear factors for the large suspension. First of all, Porter comes from a good ways with his leg fanned out. Secondly, Booth makes no alterations to his path that would lead to accidental contact or anything.
Booth's injury also played a role.
I'm pleasantly surprised. I was a bit skeptical that Shanahan would issue a suspension for this hit, but obviously he did. It was cheap and a message needed to be sent.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 12:34 pm
By: Adam Gretz
It appears that Brendan Shanahan's schedule is full. Again.
Not only does he have to deal with (we're assuming) Edmonton's Andy Sutton for his hit on Alexei Ponikarovsky during Wednesday's game, it's also been announced that Buffalo's Ville Leino and Colorado's Kevin Porter will have disciplinary hearings for seperate incidents over the past couple of days.
As always, it's important to keep in mind that a hearing does not mean a suspension is automatic, but it sure seems like it's possible.
Porter is being called in for his knee-on-knee hit against the Vancouver Canucks that resulted in David Booth being sidelined for the next four-to-six weeks with a sprained MCL. There was a debate as to whether or not he would face any supplemental discipline, and the fact Booth is going to be out of the lineup for an extended period of time is not a positive development for Porter.
He was issued a five-minute major and a game misconduct for kneeing.
Leino, meanwhile, is having a hearing because of an elbow he delivered to the head of Philadelphia's Matt Read during the Sabres 5-4 overtime loss to the Flyers on Wednesday night. He was not penalized on the play, but when watching the video, it's not hard to see why Shanahan wants to have a word with him, as he deliberately stuck his elbow out and made contact with Read's head as he skated past him.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:24 am
Edited on: December 8, 2011 4:44 pm
By: Adam Gretz
Andy Sutton was suspended for the second time already this season for a dangerous hit, this time being suspended indefinitely until Brendan Shanahan can decide how long it will last.
During his brief time in charge of NHL discipline, Shanahan has put a rather large emphasis on whether or not a player is a repeat offender, or has a history of illegal hits. That's probably not good news for the Edmonton Oilers defenseman after his elbow to the head of Carolina Hurricanes forward Alexei Ponikarovsky on Wednesday night. When his punishment is officially announced, it won't be kind.
The play occurred midway through the third period of Carolina's 5-3 win, which was also the first victory for Kirk Muller as an NHL head coach.
Here's a look at the play:
Sutton received a two-minute minor for boarding. He was all over the ice on Wednesday making his presence felt physically, and tallied nine penalty minutes over the course of the game, including another boarding penalty in the second period, as well as a five-minute major for fighthing after he delivered a huge (and what appeared to legal) open ice hit on Carolina's Jeff Skinner.
Earlier this season Sutton was suspended five games for an illegal hit to the head of Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog, and during that suspension video Shanahan cited Sutton's past history of fines and suspensions for various illegal plays. And now he has another one just a little over a month later.
More NHL Discipline News Here
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Posted on: December 7, 2011 3:18 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 3:23 pm
On Sunday, Vancouver Canucks winger David Booth had one of his hits scrutinized, his collision with Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff in Vancouver's win. He was eventually cleared despite a lot of similarities to the hit that got the Predators forward Jordin Tootoo a two-game ban.
A game later and now a hit against Booth is going to get the ol' Shanahan review.
Porter was given a five-minute major and game misconduct. Worse, though, is the fact that Booth appeared to have sustained a bad injury on the play. He limped his way off the ice with help, unable to put much pressure down on his injured leg. MRIs are scheduled for Wednesday to determine the severity of the injury. Hopefully for Booth, it's just a situation of a bruised knee cap.
The question now turns to how many games will he be given in the form of a suspension, if any?
Keep in mind that so far, Shanahan has issued suspensions or fines for a lot of different dangerous plays, but none of them have been kneeing. So there isn't a precedent to speak of for Shanny on this one. Actually, there is a precedent, it's that he hasn't done anything with it in the past. There was a previous kneeing incident this season featuring Ryan Whitney of the Oilers taking out Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck. Nothing came of it.
They are both (referring to Porter's and Whitney's hits) dirty and, to me at least, are just about as bad as hits to the head. There is no place for this kind of play. I suppose you can argue that the kneeing is unintentional, but that's going to happen when you try and slide into the skater's path with bowed out legs.
If I were to venture a guess, I would say this like does not get Porter any additional punishment. Until I see an instance of kneeing being penalized by Shanahan, then I'll sing a different tune.
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 4:45 pm
The Shanahammer is getting some good use of late. On Wednesday, Brendan Shanahan swung his hammer of justice for the second time in as many days, laying down a three-game suspension for the Dallas Stars' Mark Fistric for his big hit on promising Islanders prospect Nino Niederreiter.
Without further ado, here is Shanahan telling you about the incident that occurred in a game ...
This suspension is rare in that it comes off a charging call -- or lack thereof. Shanahan focuses a lot on the fact that Fistric let the ice to make the hit on Niederreiter, a clear charge if there ever was in. The call wasn't made on the ice, but that doesn't deter the swift hand of Shanahan.
Making matters worse, Niederreiter suffered a concussion on the play. Combined with the fact that Fistric has faced supplemental discipline before in the form of a fine and it's the triple-trouble trio. The result is three games.
It was clear that the NHL was going to review this hit carefully, it seemed to be another perfect example of the hit they want eradicated from the league. The hit was made up high instead of to the body and it resulted in a concussed opponent.
But something that is sure to get the Dallas fans all upset is how this compares to the hit their own Tomas Vincour took earlier this season from Maple Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn. Here is that play again. Pretty similar, yes? I'll concede it's at least enough to allow Stars fans to feel wronged and upset by it.