Tag:Brendan Shanahan
Posted on: January 9, 2012 6:33 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 12:20 am
 

Brad Marchand suspended five games for clipping

By Brian Stubits

Brendan Shanahan's verdict is in for Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand and his clipping on Vancouver's Sami Salo: It's going to cost him five games.

Here is the very interesting explanation from Shanahan on the ruling.

On Sunday, Marchand said that he was defending himself on the play, echoing the comments of his coach Claude Julien. Citing that he's a short player, he was trying to avoid what he thought was a hit coming from Salo. In a few videos this season, Shanahan has explained that he believed the player's assertions on their intentions. Obviously that's not the case here.

Shanahan called the hit "predatory," nothing that they believed he had no intention on the play but to hurt Salo with the hit. That mission was accomplished, by the way. Salo was diagnosed with a concussion after the game.

"While we understand that in certain circumstances, a player may duck or bail instinctively in order to avoid an imminent or dangerous check, we do not view this play as defensive or instinctive," Shanahan explained. "Rather, we feel this was a predatory, low hit delivered intentionally by Marchand in order to flip his opponent over him.

"Further, Salo is not coming at Marchand with great speed, nor in a threatening posture. He does nothing to indicate that Marchand is about to be hit illegally or with excessive force. To be clear, we do not consider this to be a defensive act where there were no other options for Marchand."

It's a very detailed explanation, even including the 20 or seconds before the hit where the two collided on the boards in a much less vicious manner. Marchand then threw a couple of jabs at Salo's back, something that Shanahan took note of.

A short while later, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli released a statement expressing the team's frustration with the ruling.

"While we respect the process that the Department of Player Safety took to reach their decision regarding Brad’s hit on Sami Salo, we are very disappointed by their ruling.

"While we understand that the Department of Safety is an evolving entity, it is frustrating that there are clear comparable situations that have not been penalized or sanctioned in the past.

"It is equally disappointing that Brad sought the counsel of the Department this past Fall for an explanation and clarification regarding this type of scenario so as to adjust his game if necessary. He was advised that such an incident was not sanctionable if he was protecting his own safety.  Given our feeling that Brad was indeed protecting himself and certainly did not clip the player as he contacted the player nowhere near the knee or quadricep, today’s ruling is not consistent with what the Department of Player Safety communicated to Brad."

Remember, too, that Marchand has a history of disciplinary action. He was suspended last season and was fined earlier this season for a slew-foot.

This puts a wrap on really a weekend full of Canucks-Bruins. The animosity between these two teams is astonishing.

UPDATE: Marchand is apparently doing a season-long diary with ESPN Boston. Here is his most recent entry that he posted late on Monday night after the suspension. Among the highlights is Marchand insinuating Vigneault has a lack of class and denying he plays to hurt people.

More NHL Discipline News Here

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Posted on: January 8, 2012 4:24 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2012 4:40 pm
 

Marchand has hearing for clipping; Salo concussed

By Brian Stubits

The Boston Bruins had not one but two players assessed game misconducts in Saturday's very combative Stanley Cup Final rematch loss to the Vancouver Canucks. One of those -- to Milan Lucic -- was rescinded by the NHL. The other one handed to Brad Marchand for clipping has led to a hearing with the NHL.

In a game that had numerous fights, hits and dustups, Marchand's hit on Sami Salo was the worst. With the two on a colision course, Marchand elected to play his own version of the limbo and see how low he could go. He connected with Salo right around his knees, flipping Salo head over heels and hitting the ice with his head.

Take note, too, of the leadup to the hit from Marchand. You see the two players bumped into each other then Marchand threw a couple of jabs at Salo before undercutting him. It doesn't help his case in arguing that it wasn't intentional.

It is a bit interesting that in today's league where teams like the Florida Panthers are listing concussed players as being out with bruised tailbones that the Canucks wasted no time in announcing that Salo did, indeed, suffer a concussion from the hit.

Remember too that Marchand has a discipline past on his short resume already. Earlier this season he was fined for slew-footing Matt Niskanen and last season he was given two games for elbowing R.J. Umberger in the head. We've seen a few times this season how Brendan Shanahan treats repeat offenders.

We know this much, the Canucks weren't happy about it at all.

“You talk about unacceptable plays in hockey,” GM Mike Gillis told the Vancouver Sun, “that's clearly one. I'm not going to comment any further.”

But of course defenseman Kevin Bieksa did. He's always good for an opinion on anything involving his teammates, it seems.

“It's very, very cheap,” Bieksa said. “I can't think of a cheaper hit you can do on the ice. That and a slew-foot kind of go hand in hand. Twenty seconds before that, [Marchand] and Sami have a pretty good collision in the exact same spot. Sami probably gets the better of him. Then second time, Marchand comes back and loses his will and goes down low. A cheap shot from him, and I hope he gets a phone call from the league.”

He is. That's how his hearing will be conducted, over the phone, meaning Marchand's suspension won't exceed four games.

Even the coaches are getting into it. Here's a little back and forth between Claude Julien and Alain Vigneault from the Sun.

“If guys start protecting themselves the way Marchand did, maybe guys will stop taking runs at other guys,” Julien told reporters, “because that's the consequences – you end up paying for taking runs at other guys, too.”

Canuck coach Alain Vigneault was not amused.

"That's a stupid comment," he said Sunday. "What Marchant did, you could end a player's career doing that. I've never seen Sami Salo take a run at any player in the NHL.

"Marchand -- and this is just my feeling -- but someday he's going to get it. Someday, someone's going to say 'enough is enough' and they're going to hurt the kid because he plays to hurt players. And if the league doesn't care, somebody else will."

Marchand addressed the possible suspension on Sunday with reporters, explaining that he was protecting himself when he saw Salo coming his way.

More NHL Discipline News Here

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Posted on: January 5, 2012 3:24 pm
 

Brian Burke talks decline of enforcer



By: Adam Gretz


The Toronto Maple Leafs placed forward Colton Orr on waivers Wednesday afternoon. He cleared on Thursday, going unclaimed by the 29 other teams in the NHL, paving the way for him to be assigned to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. This development does not please Leafs general manager Brian Burke, a point that he made very clear as he addressed the media on Thursday afternoon talking about the transaction, as well as the decline of the enforcer role in the NHL.

Orr, of course, is one of the NHL's top fighters, and according to his player page at hockeyfights.com has been involved in over 110 fights at the NHL level, including preseason, regular season and postseason games. Compare that to the 11 goals he's scored in 378 career games with the Bruins, Rangers and Maple Leafs, and the six minutes of ice-time that he's averaged per game throughout his career, and it's quite obvious as to what his role is and what's expected of him.

That role is one that has been going away in recent years across the league, and that's a development that is not sitting well with the Leafs' general manager.

Said Burke on Thursday, “The only lament I have on this is the fear that if we don’t have guys looking after each other, that the rats will take this game over.

“I know the Greenpeace folks will be happy with this, but I wonder where we’re going, where Brendan Shanahan’s getting six hearings every two days … I wonder, the accountability in our game and the notion that players can stick up for themselves and each other, I wonder where we’re going with that.”

It became clear that there simply wasn't room for Orr on the Maple Leafs roster, as he's appeared in just five games this season, playing a total of just 22:44. To put that total in some perspective, there are currently 46 regular NHL players that average more minutes than that every single game.

Burke's biggest argument is that the role of the fighter will allow for more cheap shots on the ice because there is no fear of retribution, pointing to some of the recent plays that resulted in a suspension from the league over the past week, saying that Shanahan is the only person looking out for other players.

“Pick your poison. Pick one of the suspensions," said Burke. "And so, to me, would those guys do those things if there’s retribution available, if there’s accountability in the game? I’m not so sure. Maybe it’s just a rant that the game’s going in a direction I don’t like, but I’m troubled by this. When a player with the character of Colton Orr, when he can’t contribute in this league, then I’m not sure I like the way it’s going.”

The suggestion -- and Burke isn't the first one to put it out there -- that players like Orr, or the threat of fighting in general, acts as a deterrent to the type of cheap, dirty plays he's talking about here has always blown me away. If fighting were that sort of deterrent we would have never seen those types of things happen -- or at least not as much -- and they've always happened. They still happen, and they will continue to happen, whether fighting exists in the NHL or not. Is the game today really dirtier and filled with more cheap shots than it was 20 or 30 years ago, or when bench clearing brawls (like this one) were a common occurrence?

The other factor at work here is that it's just no longer as financially viable to carry a player that does nothing but fight on your roster. Now that the NHL has roster limits and a salary cap every roster spot and dollar spent matters. You have a limit as to what you can do, and teams are placing a larger emphasis on skating ability, speed and, of course, skill.

Orr is currently in the third year of a four-year contract that pays him $1 million per season. For a player that, again, plays about four-to-five minutes per night (when he's in the gameday lineup, that is) that's probably not the best use of your resources, an aspect that Burke also addressed.

"It’s almost like you’re adding up assets on a sheet and saying, ‘what Colton provides, does that provide the same benefit as a guy who can skate maybe better than he can?'" said Burke. "We’ve done it. We made the decision here. He hasn’t played much here. So I’m not excluding us from this remark. I just wonder where we’re going. Players, in the old days, they protected themselves. And then it evolved into players protecting their teammates. And now, I’m not sure who’s looking after them, other than (NHL disciplinarian) Brendan Shanahan. To me, it’s a dangerous turn in our game.”

It's always been clear that Burke sees a need for fighting in the NHL. It's clear based on his comments, his financial commitments to players like Orr, his comments on Thursday, and, heck, even the makeup of his rosters as a general manager, as his teams are usually near the top of the league in terms of fighting majors per season.

For a variety of reasons the game is changing, and that role is going away, and that's something that Burke is simply going to have to accept and adjust to.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 4, 2012 8:37 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2012 8:41 pm
 

Dan Carcillo suspended 7 games



By: Adam Gretz

The NHL's disciplinary committee has been dropping the hammer all day on Wednesday, and the latest player to face its wrath is Chicago Blackhawks forward Dan Carcillo.

The league had already announced that Carcillo had received an indefinite suspension for his hit from behind on Edmonton defenseman Tom Gilbert on Tuesday night. Carcillo was ejected and given a five-minute major for boarding, a penalty that proved to be costly as Edmonton went on to score a pair of goals on the extended power play during its 4-3 win.

A lengthy suspension was obvious, and on Wednesday evening the league announced that Carcillo has been suspended seven games for the hit.

"Carcillo chips the puck behind Gilbert at the Edmonton blue line creating a race for the end boards," said Brendan Shanahan. "This is a 50/50 puck that either player can win, and in such cases a reasonable amount of physical contact is permissable as the the players jostle for position. However, on this play, Carcillo slows up and gets behind Gilbert, just as Gilbert begins slowing down and bracing himself for some contact, Carcillo explodes into him causing a violent crash into the boards. This is a clear violation of the boarding rule."

Carcillo is a repeat offender in the eyes of the league, and has been fined or suspended nine previous times throughout his NHL career, including a two-game suspension earlier in the season for a similar hit against Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen.

That prior history, combined with the violence of the play, as well as the fact that Gilbert was injured, earned Carcillo the second-longest suspension (in terms of regular season games lost) that's been handed out by Shanahan during his time in charge of player safety. Columbus' James Wisniewski missed the first eight games of the regular season for his preseason incident with Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck.

He won't return to the Chicago lineup until Jan. 18 against the Buffalo Sabres

More NHL Discipline News Here

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 7:28 pm
 

Rene Bourque suspended 5 games



By: Adam Gretz

For the second time this season Calgary Flames forward Rene Bourque has been suspended by the NHL, and this time it's for his elbow to the head of Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom during the third period of Washington's 3-1 win on Tuesday night.

He had a disciplinary hearing early on Wednesday, and later in the day it was announced by NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan that Bourque will miss Calgary's next five games. He was banished earlier in the season for two games for boarding Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook.

Said Shanahan, "Backstrom is carrying the puck up the middle of the ice as Bourque pivots and pursues Backstrom, Backstrom makes a pass to Mike Knuble on his right. Bourque continues his path and throws an elbow, making principal of contact with Backstrom's jaw. This a hit to the head and a clear violation of rule 48."

Shanahan also added that he believed Bourque's argument that his elbow was an "instinctive" reflex as opposed to an attempt to injure. He also added that it was "reckless" and "indefensible." Bourque's two-game suspension for hitting Seabrook, which occurred less than a month ago making him a repeat offender, as well as the fact that Backstrom removed himself from the game after his condition became worse. He's currently listed as being day-to-day.

In 38 games this season Bourque has scored 13 goals to go with three assists. He will miss games against Boston, Minnesota, New Jersey, Anaheim and Los Angeles. He will be eligible to return to the Flames lineup on Tuesday, Jan. 17 when the Flames travel to San Jose to take on the Sharks.

More NHL Discipline News Here

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:23 am
Edited on: January 4, 2012 1:48 pm
 

Rene Bourque has hearing for elbowing Backstrom

By Brian Stubits

While we await Brendan Shanahan's verdict of one repeat offender's actions in Daniel Carcillo, he added another repeat offender to the list of pending suspensions on Tuesday.

Calgary Flames forward Rene Bourque seemed to go out of his way in Tuesday night's game against the Washington Capitals to hit Caps leading scorer Nicklas Backstrom. Despite the puck being up the ice already and it happening behind the play, Bourque gave Backstrom an elbow anyway. To the head. And it's all that he gave him.

The result was a two-minute minor for elbowing, Backstrom having to be evaluated after the game -- though he did play after the hit -- and a hearing being scheduled for Wednesday with Shanahan.

Here are some replays of the hit for you to judge for yourself.

It goes without saying that the Capitals are probably holding their breath right now regarding Backstrom's health. He has been their best and most consistent player this season, an easy pick to go to the All-Star Game representing the Capitals. He assisted on all three of Washington's goals in the 3-1 victory.

“We removed him from the game, it was precautionary,” coach Dale Hunter said on Tuesday night. “He was getting evaluated right now. We’ll know more tomorrow.”

On Wednesday, Hunter called Backstrom day to day.

As to the repeat offender status, Bourque was given a two-game suspension earlier this season from Shanahan for a boarding hit on Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook.

After the game, Bourque told the Washington Post that he wasn't even really aware if anything had happened.

"Did it look really bad? Was he hurt? I didn't even know if I clipped him," Bourque said. "I didn't even know if I hit him in the head."

Well, he did hit him in the head. So now we all know what comes next. Bourque, who has 13 goals and three assists on the season, will be banished to the corner for a timeout for a couple of games.

More NHL Discipline News Here

Photo: Getty Images

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Posted on: January 3, 2012 11:05 am
Edited on: January 3, 2012 3:55 pm
 

Carcillo suspended indefinitely for Gilbert hit

By Brian Stubits

Daniel Carcillo is going to know Brendan Shanahan pretty well soon. At this rate he'll know Shanny's favorite food, his anniversary and exactly how hard Shanahan can lay the hammer down.

The Chicago Blackhawks forward earned himself an indefinite suspension from Shanahan over his hit Monday night on Tom Gilbert of the Edmonton Oilers. It was brutally impressive, an ugly yet eye-popping hit that sent Gilbert careening through the air like a Frisbee.

Holy smokes.

In this era of homer announcers, you know it's bad when the play by play guy's first word after the hit by one of his team's players is "Oh! That's going to be a suspension."

It is, the question remains how many games. That fits a dirty hit by about any definition you want to use. Not to mention boarding -- and interference if you felt so inclined.

"I knew who it was and you have to be aware," Gilbert said. "I should have been more ready for a guy whose made those kind of hits before."

Gilbert, not surprisingly, left the game with an injury from the hit. The kicker? Carcillo did, too. So not only did his hit likely cost him some games and salary from the NHL, it could also cost him some additional time if the injury is bad. Talk about a double whammy.

I admit to getting a little gun-shy on guessing the length of Shanahan suspension calls recently. I thought he let Raffi Torres go too long before suspending him for a third questionable hit in three games and also felt that he missed the boat on the Tomas Kopecky, Michael Del Zotto incident.

But there's no way there's not a hefty suspension for Carcillo here, right? After all, he has already been smacked by the Shanahammer once this season for boarding and has been suspended a somewhat remarkable five times already in his career.

That makes for the Shanahan trifecta: A bad hit that resulted in an injury from a player with a history of supplemental discipline. If there is no suspension from this mix, then I'm left wondering all over again like it's the Colin Campbell era.

I'd guess Carcillo gets an in-person hearing for this, opening up the possibility of five games or more. How many games do you think he should get?

More NHL Discipline News Here

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 9:56 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 9:59 pm
 

Raffi Torres suspended 2 games



By: Adam Gretz

Not even a day dominated by the Winter Classic can stop NHL discipline from sneaking into the news.

The NHL announced on Monday evening that Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres has been suspended two games for a charging incident that took place during their 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night, not long after he was fined for a hit in his previous game. There was no penalty called on the play, but Brendan Shanahan determined that it was worth him missing the next two games against St. Louis and Los Angeles.

He'll be eligible to return to the lineup on January 7 when the Coyotes host the New York Islanders.

The hit took place midway through the first period when he hit Minnesota's Nate Prosser.

"As the video shows, Torres approaches Prosser just inside the Minnesota blue line as Prosser is making a pass up the ice," said Shanahan. 'Torres is in position to make a clean, full body check. However, rather than drive through his opponents chest or shoulder, Torres rises up and leaves his feet prior to contact, launching himself into Prosser and making significant contact with Prosser's head. While players skates often come off the ice after impact on clean body checks, that is not the case here."

Along with that description, Shanahan also made it known that this was the third game in a row that a hit from Torres has drawn the attention of NHL player safety. Earlier in the week he was fined $2,500 (the maximum fine allowed) for elbowing Colorado's Jan Hejda, a hit that many felt should have resulted in a suspension of its own.

"It is important to note that this is the third game in a row that Torres has gotten the attention of the department of player safety for contact to the head," said Shanahan. "In fact, only hours before the Minnesota game Torres was fined and warned against such actions. In addition, Torres has been fined twice before and was suspended nine months ago for a similar play."

More NHL Discipline News Here

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