In case you haven’t heard, Brendan Shanahan is here to dole out supplementary discipline and chew bubblegum.
Shanny’s waltzed right in to what was Colin Campbell‘s office, and he barely had his desk arranged just the way he likes it before deciding to show the league that this year was going to be different.
The list isn’t small. Aaron Rome, David Perron, Sidney Crosby, Francis Bouillon, Marc Savard, and Nathan Horton are just some of the players who are still sidelined with concussions (CBS). Last year was an awful year for players receiving head injuries, and it was coupled with a very tragic off-season that included the deaths of Wade Belak, Derek Boogard, and Rick Rypien. Their roles as enforcers brought focus to the psychological issues that come with head injury.
That all being said, I don’t think it’s surprising for Shanny to do his part to stomp out illegal hits that can cause head injury. He did a great job in suspending Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond for a hit from behind, and his explanation is one we’ve been waiting for every since the NHL instituted stricter policies on hits from behind.
It was Jody Shelley‘s 10 game suspension that really rang clear, though. By watching the play, you can plainly see why Shelley’s hit caused the reaction it did, both on and off the ice. These are the kind of hits that take take an exciting hockey player and sideline him, all because a perennial minor league player wanted to make some sort of statement in the pre-season. Furthermore, these hits ran rampant last year as certain talent-less idiots tried their best to smash and crash the game into oblivion.
So what’s accomplished here? Jody Shelley wouldn’t have a prayer of cracking the Flyers’ lineup unless they did something moronic like trade away their top two centers…again. Is this really going to deter the major-league headhunters from indirect attempted manslaughter? Top scientists in the field have examined Shanahan’s thousand yard stare and have concluded that he will indeed “bring it” after he “sings it.”
Now. How does any of this affect the Buffalo Sabres, about whom I tend to write? Well, this team has a couple of guys who are kind of known around the league for their penchant for body checks. Not to mention that veteran on the blue line who has knocked a few people into the bench from time to time.
Regehr plays a cleaner game than the other two, but here’s hoping every player on this team takes an extra second or two to make sure they are abiding by the head shot and hit from behind rules. Shanahan’s made it clear he isn’t playing around, and if that attitude carries into the regular season (it will) this year is going to be more balanced. For every puck handling, goal scoring player that gets taken out, you’re going to see a cheap shot artist sit in the press box.
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Tags: Aaron Rome Brendan Shanahan Buffalo Buffalo Sabres Calgary Calgary Flames Colin Campbell Concussion David Perron Derek Boogard Devils Flames Flyers Francis Bouillon Jody Shelley Marc Savard Matt Cooke Nathan Horton New Jersey New Jersey Devils NHL Patrick Kaleta Penguins Philadelphia Philadelphia Flyers Philly Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond Rick Rypien Rohyn Regehr Sabres Sidney Crosby Suspension Wade Belak Zack Kassian