Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:03 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 6:00 pm

Turris not suspended for high hit on Corvo

By Brian Stubits

Brendan Shanahan was not all that busy with Kyle Turris as Bruins play-by-play man Jack Edwards predicted on Saturday night.

Ian Mendes of Sportsnet reported on Sunday afternoon that Turris is going to be in the lineup for the Sens' visit to the Islanders on Sunday. it was made official by Brendan Shanahan later Sunday with an official statement.

“Because there was enough head contact on this hit, the Department of Player Safety felt it was necessary to convene a hearing to examine the play further,” NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan said. “After reviewing the video extensively as we heard Turris' explanation of how the play developed, we concluded that the head was not targeted intentionally or even recklessly and that the circumstances surrounding the hit contributed significantly to the amount of head contact that resulted.

“We therefore have decided that there will be no supplemental discipline added to the penalty assessed on the play.”

Edwards was pretty incensed with a hit that the Senators' Turris laid on Joe Corvo down in the corner. It seemed to be for good reason, too. At least I thought.

This is the type of play that I think takes away from the clarity that had been coming with the explanations this season. I've watched all the videos Shanahan has released this season for suspensions and I can't quite make sense of why this isn't worthy of at least a game, even with Shanny's explanation. I just really dislike the idea of judging a player's intent. Of course every player is going to stay it wasn't their intent.

Shanahan later spoke to NHL.com about the decision, going into much greater detail. It's really interesting to read it all, but here's a taste.

"The hearing is an exercise in getting more specific information," Shanahan told NHL.com on Sunday after the decision was rendered not to issue any supplemental discipline to Turris. "We know and understand the perspective of the player is to get himself out of any supplemental discipline. No player lies down and says give me something. But, on the closer calls like this one, it's important for us to hear from the players' perspective on the play and it has an influence on our decision. It shows that at 10, 11, or midnight we don't just make up our minds and it's final.
"We also feel we owe it to the player that has gotten the hit to the head," he continued. "Even if he doesn't like the end result, I think it's important that they know the thoroughness involved, that we put a halt to our day and we're not sweeping it under the rug. We're trying to be as thorough as possible with each and every case."

I'm admittedly on the pacifist side when it comes to fighting, but this is one time when I'm OK with it still being in the game. I've argued that with the league punishing these players now more than they have before, it wasn't as necessary. Well, the Senators and Bruins are about to meet again Tuesday in Boston and you can rest assured that it will be your classic "chippy" contest.

More NHL Discipline news

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 11:20 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 3:04 pm

Video: Kyle Turris headshot on Joe Corvo

By: Adam Gretz

Ottawa Senators forward Kyle Turris is not an overly physical player. In 36 games this season he's been credited with just 16 hits (and yes, I'm aware of how flawed and biased the "hit" statistic can be), which is why it's kind of surprising to see him involved in a questionable hit to the head that may receive some extra attention from the NHL.

Late in the third period of the Senators 5-3 loss to the Bruins, Turris caught Boston defenseman Joe Corvo with what appeared to be an elbow to the head, resulting in a two-minute minor for boarding and a pretty incredible rant from Bruins announcer Jack Edwards.

(Also featured: Chris Neil's big hit on Johnny Boychuk earlier in the period.)

The NHL looks at everything, so this hit is definitely going to be reviewed, it's just a matter of whether or not Brendan Shanahan and Co. feel it's worthy of additional punishment.

These two teams meet again Tuesday night in Boston.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 22, 2012 11:03 am
Edited on: February 22, 2012 2:07 pm

Clifford avoids suspension for hit on Brule

By Brian Stubits

Kyle Clifford's five-minute major for a hit on Coyotes defenseman Gilbert Brule likely cost the Kings the game in Phoenix on Tuesday night, but luckily for him that's all it will cost him.

After technically being suspended because of the match penalty until the league could review, there was no hearing scheduled by the league and thus no suspension for Clifford.

Late in the game with the Kings holding a 4-3 lead -- shocking, I know -- Brule pushed the puck up the ice along the boards through the neutral zone and watched as the play developed ahead of him. Moments later Clifford came from behind and delivered a hit that was either to the high chest or the head. Either way it ended up getting Brule's head and Clifford was shown the gate while also being given a five-minute major.

As you can hear, the Kings broadcasters -- who I must recognize as being some of the most impartial and rational home-team announcers in the NHL -- debate whether it was a hit to the head or not of Brule. What they can't argue is that the hit was delivered very high on Brule and as a result if nothing else the follow through caught Brule's head.

I didn't think Shanahan would go easy Clifford in this case. The hit was unnecessary; it came to an unsuspecting player more or less from behind well after the puck had advanced up the ice. Throw in the placement of the hit and Brule leaving the game and you get the sense it's going to be a couple games minimum for Clifford.

But I admit, I'm as lost as a lot of people with what's OK and what's not.

Plays like this seem to have greatly reduced as the season has gone along, Shanny hasn't seemed anywhere near as busy to me in the past few weeks. So perhaps the players are learning, but there will still be hits coming through like this.

On the season Clifford has four goals and six assists for the Kings, playing the dirty minutes on the bottom lines for L.A.

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Posted on: February 19, 2012 4:53 pm

Wild's Peters suspended one game for cross check

By Brian Stubits

Warren Peters of the Minnesota Wild was suspended for one game by the NHL and Brendan Shanahan on Sunday for a cross check he delivered to the head of Blues captain David Backes on Saturday.

The check came in a post-play scrum where Backes was surrounded by three Wild players including Peters. It came in apparent retaliation for a Backes hit a moment earlier.

Peters only receives one game for the cross check to the side of Backes' head because not all of Shanny's naughty checklist was met. Backes didn't suffer any apparent injuries as a result and Peters doesn't have a disciplinary history to speak of. So the punishment is just one game.

I think this ruling carries a little bit of a hidden significance, however. It serves as a reminder that the NHL is looking at every game and every play with an eye out for these things. This wasn't a well-publicized incident at all. In fact, when it the suspension came down, I didn't even know what it was about.

In that way it is a small sign that they are serious in Shanny's offices, if that was even in question in the first place.

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 4:31 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 4:41 pm

No suspension for Brad Marchand

By: Adam Gretz

The NHL has decided Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand will not be suspended for a clipping incident that took place during Wednesday's game in Montreal.

This decision is probably a surprise to some given that Marchand was suspended five games for clipping Vancouver's Sami Salo earlier this season (to be exact, it was just last month). Same player, same type of play. Seems reasonable to expect some sort of supplemental discipline. But that's not going to be the case.

The NHL's Vice President of Player Safety, Brendan Shanahan, briefly addressed the play on Twitter Thursday afternoon and said, "Like all penalties on the ice, not all 'clips' rise to the level of supplemental discipline. This check by Marchand was delivered to the upper thigh/hip and not the knee area. We don't like it, but not SD."

"Not SD," of course, refers to no supplemental discipline.

Here is the play one more time in case you missed it the first time around:

It's fair to point out that this clip and the earlier play that did result in a suspension may not be exactly the same. But if there is going to be a criticism of the decision (and there is always a criticism of the league's decisions when it comes to disciplinary matters) it's that Shanahan admitted that the league didn't like it -- it, of course, being the hit. Coming from a player that was suspended for a similar play just one month ago.

If nothing else, that's going to bring up even more questions about consistency and NHL discipline. Seems like we've been down that road before.

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Marchand called for clipping
Marchand suspended 5 games for clipping
Marchand excused from Cup DVD filming  for drunkenness
More NHL Discipline news

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 9:58 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 4:17 pm

Brad Marchand called for clipping Alexei Emelin

By Brian Stubits

Brad Marchand should probably expect another call from Brendan Shanahan in the near future.

In what was a chippy and penalty-filled affair between the Bruins and Canadiens on Wednesday night -- is there any other kind of meeting between them? -- Marchand was called for a two-minute minor for clipping Alexei Emelin. If that sounds familiar, it should. He was suspended five games earlier this season for clipping Canucks forward Sami Salo.

Here's a look at the play in question from this week.

Under most circumstances, this probably wouldn't warrant much attention from the league. But considering Marchand just recently was punished for breaking the same rule and the league frowns upon repeat offenders, this should at the least get a phone call.

In this case Marchand doesn't have much of a defense for going low, there was no threat of a hit coming from Emelin in this case. There's little doubt that he went very low, making plenty of contact below the waist on the check. But Emelin wasn't hurt on the play like Salo was and I suppose Marchand could say that it was just him slamming on the brakes.

Marchand is one of those players who plays on a fine line at all times and will cross it now and again. He admitted that he has to be reeled in from time to time. At the least, I'd expect Shanahan to do just that in this case if not more.

More from Eye on Hockey

Marchand suspended five games for clipping
Marchand was excused from DVD filming for drunkenness

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 8:10 pm

Shanahan further explains no suspension for Moore

By Brian Stubits

It's not often that Brendan Shanahan does videos when there was no suspension to talk about. I know a lot of people wish he'd do more on the non-suspension rulings, most notably the players.

But on rare occasions Shanny will feel a ruling needs the extra explanation. That's the case in the recent fine for Tampa Bay Lightning center Dominic Moore for his hit on the Rangers' Ruslan Fedotenko. You'll remember it left the Rangers pretty furious afterward. It really looked like it was a clear shoulder-on-head meeting.

It just looked that way.

When the NHL announced the suspension, it said there was additional evidence that supported the decision to only make it a fine.

We have our additional camera angle and further explanation from Shanahan that shows why the call was made and that it was the right one.

The first few camera angles you can't see anything but a shoulder to the head. It's on the later replays that you can clearly see Moore never hits Fedotenko in the head. Instead, he hits Fedotenko's hands which propels his stick into his own face.

Shanahan said the decision to fine Moore came from the fact that Fedotenko did sustain an injury from the hit and that it was still intentional interference.

It really would be nice to get more decisions explaining the decision on non-suspensions. This should be enough to cool down the Rangers fans who were riled up.

More from Eye on Hockey

Moore fined $2,500 for Fedotenko hit
Rangers angry with Moore hit

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 13, 2012 7:14 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 1:57 am

Flyers' Rinaldo suspended two games for charging

By Brian Stubits

Players across the NHL had been on their best behavior since the All-Star break. Alex Ovechkin was the last player suspended and that came with a game to go before the midseason vacation.

That was until Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo decided to charge Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson on Sunday night in Detroit's 4-3 win.

For the hit, Brendan Shanahan issued the rookie Rinaldo a two-game suspension.

As usual, Shanahan is very descriptive in breaking down why Rinaldo was suspended. In this instance, he was clear in pointing out that Rinaldo could have delivered a legal check and Ericsson should have been more aware of what was coming instead of looking back at his pass.

But that doesn't absolve Rinaldo from charging and turning a good hit into a bad hit. Making this perhaps my favorite Shanahan video this year, it busts out the telestrator and a little math. Taking into account that Rinaldo is five inches shorter than Ericsson, he clearly had to launch himself into the air to connect with Ericsson's head like he did.

Rinaldo was skating on thin ice. It was just eight days ago that he was fined not once but twice in the same game. One was for a late hit, the other for a slew foot. That didn't curry him any favor, Shanahan hasn't looked down kindly on repeat offenders.

Rinaldo has been good for the Flyers in his first season in the NHL. He has also proven he fits in the mold of classic Flyers, playing a little reckless at times and proving he's not afraid to throw the gloves down.

Check out this nugget on Rinaldo from Broad Street Hockey: Rinaldo has 285 minutes on the ice versus 276 minutes in the penalty box or on suspension.

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Rinaldo fined for late hit, slew foot

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com