Tag:Player Discipline
Posted on: October 3, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2011 9:03 pm

Bolts' Malone not suspended for hit on Campoli

By Brian Stubits

Ryan Malone of the Tampa Bay Lightning has escaped the Shanaban from Brendan Shanahan.

The forward's hit in question occurred in a game against the Canadiens' Chris Campoli where the principal point of contact was the head. However, Shanahan concluded no punishment is forthcoming, saying this was his "most difficult [decision] to date."

Here is Shanahan's video detailing the ruling.

Now here's Shanahan's explanation given to NHL.com as to why Malone won't be sidelined for those who can't listen to the video.

“We felt that this hit was the most challenging one so far in this preseason for the Department of Player Safety to evaluate,” Shanahan said. “In the end, we felt that Malone had committed to the hit when Campoli was upright. However, when the contact was made, Campoli's head position significantly changed just prior to the hit.

"There are elements about the hit that we don't like -- specifically, the principal point of contact being the head and that it was not a full-body check. But the overriding factor in our judgment was that Campoli's loss of the puck and subsequent bending forward for it just prior contributed significantly, if not entirely, to those elements."

Count Campoli among the surprised at Shanahan's ruling.

"Somewhat surprised I guess. Haven't heard officially but if that's the case I'm surprised."

I think this ruling gives hope to a lot of people out there afraid the NHL is going too far. It shows that Shanahan and crew are taking a very close look at each play and trying not to take the hitting out of the game, something a lot of people are afraid will happen. By doing this, it shows it will be more than knee-jerk reactions to game misconducts.

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

Posted on: September 30, 2011 11:13 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 1:15 pm

Wings' Smith suspended five regular-season games

By Brian Stubits

Brendan Smith of the Detroit Red Wings has been suspended for the remained of the preseason and the first five regular-season games after his illegal hit to the head of Blackhawks forward Ben Smith on Wednesday.

Here's the description from the other night.

With the game tied, 3-3, early in the third period, Chicago's Ben Smith carried the puck into the offensive zone and tried to cut across the middle of the ice. At that point Detroit's Brendan Smith, who is fighting for a roster spot, connected on a hit that resulted in his ejection from the game (as well as a match penalty), while Smith was clearly shaken up and needed assistance in getting off the ice. According to Rule 48, the Match Penalty can be issued if the referee, "in his judgement, feels the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head."

Now for Shanahan's breakdown.

In addition to the suspension, as with each suspension, Smith will face a fine, forfeiting all the money he would earn in the games he sits out. Based on his annual salardy, Smith will forfeit $23,648.65. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. The fund is having its best preseason donation period perhaps ever. Here is the staggering amount of money already given up, courtest of the Canadian Press. "NHL players are paid during pre-season, but they've forfeited $666,547.42 in combined salary with suspensions."

"I thought it was a little extreme, to tell you the truth," coach Mike Babcock said of the suspension on Friday.

I was very interested to see how Shanahan was going to rule on this hit. I felt there was perhaps the best defense any offending player had in this case as he was coming fromt he side. In all of the cases so far, Shanahan has pointed out the player had his back to the hitter well before the contact and that there were no sudden moves.

But it can't be ignored that Ben Smith is now day-to-day after suffering a concussion on the play.

It was argued by some that Ben Smith put himself in the vulnerable position. That's a point Babcock was trying to get across after the game.

"[Brendan Smith] should have hit him in the shoulder or chest but he missed," he said. "But the technique and the way he went about it, that's what you teach.

"I understand Chicago's reaction. But I also know what hockey is and what's going on in the game. We have to be smart not to be put in bad situations."

Shanahan addressed this very issue in the video, noting he believed Brendan Smith when he said he didn't intentionally hurt Ben Smith, but it doesn't matter. Ben's head did not significantly move prior to the hit and Brendan still made it the principal point of contact. He could have hit the body but did not.

Clearly, the hitting of the head is Shanahan's ultimate focus, as it should be.  Considering that's where the Smith-on-Smith contact was, you see the suspension of five games (and the remaining three in the preseason).

Blackhawks veteran defenseman Sean O'Donnell had some interesting thoughts on the matter. Not the hit itself, but the seeming increase of these hits all across the league.

“It seemed like when I first broke into the league, you would hit hard, but if a guy was in a vulnerable spot, you would ease up,” veteran Sean O’Donnell, 39, said. “And now it seems like some of the guys, when guys are in a vulnerable spot, their eyes light up. I don’t know where this mind-set came from. I’m not saying that about [Wednesday’s] hit. I’m talking about in general.

“Some of that self-respect for your fellow teammate, fellow NHLer or human being doesn’t seem to be there. I’m not sure why, but we do need to eliminate this because those brain injuries are dangerous things.”

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

Posted on: September 29, 2011 10:59 am

Shanahan not happy with criticism of Campbell

By Brian Stubits

Since taking on the responsibility of handling the discipline of players, Brendan Shanahan has been receving nearly universal praise. People had grown tired of Colin Campbell's reign and have embraced the new open and transparent era with open arms.

But the inverse of that equation is that it also has a lot of people continuing to bash Campbell. Let's be frank, the guy was never really liked by fan, feeling that he was unfair, especially when there was anything involving his son Gregory or his son's team.

Overall, fans viewed Campbell as a joke. So they are making jokes like this (rather hilarious) video from Down Goes Brown of the "lost" Colin Campbell suspension video vault. Here he looks at the hit from Matt Cooke that probably ended Marc Savard's career (for which Cooke received no suspension from the league).

Shanahan, however, isn't enjoying his predecessor being the butt of all the jokes. Here's what Shanahan had to say to Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy regarding the criticism of Campbell.

It's actually been really upset me over the last few days, because I still rely on him almost daily.
I just think he's one of the most moral people I've ever met in hockey. He was a great teammate when he played. He's a great dad who raised a son to play in the NHL. He's built the War Room. He's built this whole department. He's one of the reasons I got hired in the first place.
He and I are not one vs. the other. He's helped me transition to do this. It was Colie who recognized that it was time for a new voice. If people want to see this first week as successful, they have to understand that Colin is as responsible for it as anybody else.

However, this is the lay of the land. When you deal in the world of doling out suspensions, you are likely to cross almost every fan at some point. Shanahan will get his fair share of criticism, too. I don't think Shanahan expects anything different on either of those fronts.

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

Posted on: September 28, 2011 4:11 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2011 11:44 pm

Flyers' Sestito gets two-game regular-season ban

By Brian Stubits

It's another day and we have another Brendan Shanahan ruling laid down.

Tom Sestito of the Philadelphia Flyers came from another state to nail the Rangers' Andre Deveaux that helped send that game into a spiraling mess that ended up with some other controversial moments. For that hit, Sestito will be forced to sit out the remainder of the preseason (two games) and two regular-season matches.

Here's the ruling explained from Shanahan.


The morning after the hit, Sestito was placed on waivers as part of the process of sending him down to the AHL, although that was likely to happen regardless of the hit. Sam Carchidi at the Flyers Report says that Sestito will be recalled from the minors and sit the two-game suspension then.

Sestito commented on his Twitter feed, mentioning his lack of priors was a factor in getting just the two games.

"Verdict is out, luckily I haven't had a previous suspension things could have been a lot worse! Time to move on and get the season going."

That's obviously a very big factor for Shanahan in making these rulings. It's why teammate Jody Shelley received a five-game ban after his hit on the Maple Leafs' Darryl Boyce, which left Boyce with a broken nose.

Oh, and this happens to come down on Sestito's birthday. This is quite a present from the NHL. More like coal in the stocking.

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

Posted on: September 27, 2011 11:51 am
Edited on: September 27, 2011 12:50 pm

Simmonds to meet with NHL over use of gay slur

By Brian Stubits

Wayne Simmonds is going to have a hearing with NHL Vice President Colin Campbell regarding Monday night's on-ice incident with Sean Avery, according to ESPN.com.

In the heated contest, cameras caught Simmonds yelling at Avery and it's pretty easy to read his lips (that includes some NSFW language). As a result, he'll be hearing from the league.

In this case he has to report to Campbell instead of new discipline chief Brendan Shanahan since it doesn't fall under Shanny's player safety umbrella. According to the CBA, Simmonds could only face a fine of up to $2,500 for the incident. One obstacle to a fine might be the lack of audio from the video just in case he was possibly saying something other than it what it clearly appears.

But that might not be the end of it. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is getting involved in the matter.

Here's GLAAD acting president Mike Thompson's statement:

"Hate speech and anti-gay slurs have no place on the ice rink. The word that Simmonds used is the same word that is hurled at LGBT youth on the playground and in our schools, creating a climate of intolerance and hostility. He should not only apologize for this anti-gay outburst, but the Philadelphia Flyers and the NHL have a responsibility to take action and educate their fans about why this word is unacceptable."

GLAAD is in dialogue the Philadelphia Flyers as well as the National Hockey League (NHL) about specific next steps. Updates will be posted on www.glaad.org/blog as they become available.

Recently, GLAAD has worked with sports leagues including the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the World Wrestling Federation (WWE) to address issues of homophobia in sports.

To compare this to similar happenings in the past year, there were two high-profile cases in the NBA. Joakim Noah of the Bulls received a $50,000 fine for using the homophobic slur and Kobe Bryant was docked $100,000 for the same.

Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke also spoke up about the incident. Burke, who's deceased son Brendan was gay, has been an ardent supporter of gay rights. While he hadn't yet seen the video, here's what he told Katie Strang of ESPN New York.

"That type of comment has no place in the game," Burke told ESPNNewYork.com when reached by telephone Tuesday morning.

"If that happened, that is just so embarrassing and the league should not tolerate it," Burke said. "That should be treated on the same level as a racially charged incident. It's the same level of offensiveness and inappropriateness.

"I think sometimes it reflects the habitual rather than the homophobic," he said. "Players reach into their back pocket and that's what they say, not necessarily meaning to target someone's sexuality."

But that does not make the use of the word acceptable, Burke said.

"That does not make it OK," he said. "It's got to stop."

After the game, Avery confirmed Simmonds threw offensive language his way while Simmonds wouldn't elaborate, only saying things were said in the heat of the battle.

It's a classic case of Avery being Avery. Here's a very NSFW (language) video from the game in which you can hear Avery yelling at somebody about him not wanting to have to kill Claude Giroux during the game.

So clearly Avery was up to his usual antics and they got to the Flyers, Simmonds in particular. The agitator is no saint in this story by any stretch. But that doesn't absolve Simmonds for crossing the line that has been established. No matter what the actual intent was behind Simmonds' use of the word doesn't make it acceptable. Much like Shanahan did to explain the new rules, the league sends out memos to teams every year explaining what is acceptable and what is not as far as language goes.

It is something said to be an insult. Echoing some of Burke's sentiments, no matter if Simmonds is actually trying to insinuate Avery is homosexual or using it in a non-sexual orentation manner, the intent to insult Avery remains. And the particular insult he used is offensive to a segment of the population.

I imagine Simmonds will have a full and sincere apology coming soon enough and hopefully that will be the end of it. I'm just ready for some good ol' hockey.

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

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