OT: WTH Shanahan?

Submitted by JeepinBen on April 17th, 2012 at 3:28 PM

What the title says. What the hell is wrong with Shanahan? Let's go over his playoff suspensions to date:

First, Weber (see video below)

Garnered a ZERO game suspension. In a non-hockey play, attacking someone's head twice gets you zero games. But he did get the maximum fine and a 2 minute penalty and a warning that if he does anything else dumb this will count against him.

Hagelin (see video below)

A hockey play where you get your elbow up and get a 5 minute penalty gets you a 3 game suspension. Again, the first one got zero.

Asham (see video below) hasn't been ruled on yet but got a game misconduct

Carkner - jumped a guy. Multiple sucker punches to a defenseless player. 5 minutes, game misconduct. Added 1 game suspension.

Shaw (see video below)

got 5 and a game and a 3 game suspension on top of it. To me this is the least malicious of the 3 (or hagelin's). A dangerous play, yes, one that merited at least the 5 and a game that he got... but if "targeting the head" is an issue (which I'd argue that Shaw didn't target the head, but he hit it) WTH with Weber skating free?

If the NHL is so tough on concussions, why didn't Smith have to go into the quiet room for 10 minutes? he stayed in the game!

If injuries play a role in suspension length, why is Shaw the most penalized when the guy he hit missed ZERO minutes of ice time?

Also the ruling on Shaw came out about 6 hours before the next game in the series. The NHL disciplinary everything is a joke right now. Can anyone explain any logic behind this?

Shaw - 4 games (3+Misconduct)

Hagelin - 3 games

Asham -TBD... but that should be interesting

Carkner - 2 Games (1+misconduct)

Weber - 0 Games.




April 17th, 2012 at 3:31 PM ^

This was discussed over the weekend. Still a head-scratcher - especially after I thought he did a good job during the season. But I'm sure the league wants the best players available in the palyoffs.


April 17th, 2012 at 3:35 PM ^

I don't know if you posted videos or pictures to illustrate what incidents you're talking about, but nothing is showing up for me.

And yeah, the way the NHL has handled the playoffs so far with regards to discipline has been a complete joke. No rhyme or reason whatsoever. Add in the Officials losing complete control during the Pens/Flyers series and it's been a rough start for the playoffs


April 17th, 2012 at 4:17 PM ^

Those refs were a joke in that game. James Neal almost decapitates a guy away from the play and doesn't even get a penalty, then goes back out trying to hit more random players, then shit hits the fan. As a former hockey ref, I can say that's the worst possible thing you can do. While a good night is one where you go unnoticed because you let teams play to a certain extent, your only job is to make sure the players aren't being endangered. Some of the guys in the NHL could kill a grown man with their bare hands.

It's ok to attack some random 3rd line player but when crosby is about to get into a fight he instigates, the refs jump in immediately.


April 17th, 2012 at 3:34 PM ^

Not sure it really matters at this point. Wings won game 2 with Weber playing. I was 100% for Weber being suspended a game but since we won game 2 I have forgot about it.

On that note, Go Wings tonight!


April 17th, 2012 at 3:38 PM ^

I think if he could go back in time, he woul have suspended Weber because the lack of punishment there really opened the door to some of the nasty hits/cheap shot we have witnessed since. The NHLs policy of penalizing based on result is fundamentally flawed. Why not take a run at another team's star player. If he's ok, there's no risk of suspension. If he's hurt, some scrub misses a couple games. What gives?


April 17th, 2012 at 3:46 PM ^

Isn't that the worst possible situation for the NHL? It's 1. Not a hockey play 2. After the whistle 3. Targeting the head 4. A Defenseless player 

Hagelin's looks so tame in comparison. Move the elbow about 12" and you've got no penalty. Compared to Weber, Hagelin's was: a hockey play, during gameplay, hit the head, a player who was expecting it.

I just don't understand at all.


April 18th, 2012 at 9:23 AM ^

If suspensions had a point system, I'd have Hagelin's baseline higher than Weber's. That said, I would reduce Hagelin's points for being a hockey play, while Weber would get slammed with additional points for being so far removed from a normal game action.

I get that Hagelin is one of Red's boys, that he hasn't demonstrated recklessness in the past and everything else, but that hit was brutal. Still probably not three games brutal, but I would have assessed the same five-and-a-game that the referee did, and recommended suspension to Shanahan (assuming on-ice officials write the same after action reports in the NHL that they do at most other levels).


April 18th, 2012 at 9:16 AM ^

I've said this on another thread, but I wish the NHL would allow a ten minute misconduct for the start of the next series game to be assessed in the playoffs (on a series by series basis) for penalties after the final horn.

As a referee, I feel like that would give the officials more disincentives to apply on-ice and would be effective in a situation like Weber/Zetterberg. No way he does that if he knows he's definitely sitting for ten to open the next game, IMO.

All you would have to do is assess a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct for the action, then a misconduct because it happened after the horn, the only change would be forcing a player to actually serve the time in the box, and it wouldn't put his team down a man in a subsequent game. Seems like a win-win to me.

Chi Go Blue

April 17th, 2012 at 3:35 PM ^

I'm pretty sure Shanahan has a dice with 0-5 on it and just rolls it for each hearing. For Asham, he's probably going to use 2 dice.

For the whole keeping the best player available, should be interesting if Backstrom gets anything for his match penalty last night. While it wasn't with the same force as Asham's crosscheck to the face, it was the same move.

Also, while Shaw doesn't have the starpower name that other Blackhawks have, he has been one of the more effective players over the second half of the season and is a crucial part of our checking line. Him not being in for pretty much the rest of the series worries me greatly (yes I'm a hawks fan).

Chi Go Blue

April 17th, 2012 at 5:42 PM ^

The only thing that I can think of is that Shanahan knows he messed up the Weber thing and is trying to get come continuity in punishments. Hagelin got 3 for elbow to the head, Shaw gets 3 for elbow to the head. IMO, Shaw's elbowing was a lot more severe, and it was on a goalie (See Lucic vs. Miller earlier this year). I'm not too surprised he got 3 games, even though it still sucks.

Again, I'll reserve judgement until I see what Asham gets. He's been thugging it up all series and THAT is the worst play of the playoffs so far.


April 17th, 2012 at 3:37 PM ^

Awww damnit, I was just working on creating a thread about this...

Anyway, it's felt like a particularly violent start to the playoffs. The NHL can't be too happy that this is furthering the notion that the NHL is nothing but MMA On Ice.

Curious to see what comes down in the Neal case, as the Couturier hit wasn't THAT egregious in my opinion, but the flying elbow he targeted at Giroux was pretty nasty. I think Asham will be gone for a while, mostly because of the punch to an already prone Schenn. And with Backstrom picking up a match penalty just a few games after returning from a concussion of his own, he could end up getting a few games, which would effectively torpedo any chances Washington has to move on in the series.


April 17th, 2012 at 3:38 PM ^

The one that cracks me up the most is the Ranger who got the same fine as Weber for taunting a player during an interview.  Funny thing is, that the team was fined another 10k for the same act.  So apparently using naughty words is more of a punishable offense then slamming someones face.


April 17th, 2012 at 4:33 PM ^

Is there some kind of distinction between referees and linesmen that makes linesmen the first in the line of fire. In the clip, the ref just stands there while the Ranger is being smashed and never gets involved. Both linemen finally step in but the refs just seem to be sitting back and watching-- then they throw Dubinsky out for doing something about it-- WTF


April 17th, 2012 at 4:15 PM ^

The Carkner one really bothered me. I mean, seriously? Throwing multiple haymakers at a guy who made it clear he didn't want to fight? That isn't hockey, its a fucking disgrace and he should have been suspended for the remainder of the playoffs. I like fighting and believe it has its place, I fought pretty often in my playing days, but there is a code amongst players and when the league refuses to police bullshit like that it destroys the integrity of the system and proves people who call hockey barbaric correct.

You can choose to believe me or not, but I actually got to sit in on a meeting over a suspension appeal for one of my boss's clients, a huge star in the NHL. The bullshit these people spew to justify their reasoning is absolutely amazing. It's like corporate bullshit X100. Thats what you get when the guy in charge of the league can't even skate and comes from the NBA.

I really thought Shanahan would bring a player's perspective to the whole process but thus far he has failed miserably and IMO that last Pens/Flyers game was entirely his fault for failing to show any backbone. Shea Weber makes 7.5 million dollars a year, tried to injure a player blatantly, and gets fined $2500? $2500 to Shea Weber is like a pack of gum to the rest of us, it's a joke.


April 17th, 2012 at 4:43 PM ^

For a player, under the new CBA. I thought it was BS as well.

As an aside, what did you think of the Shaw play? As a goalie and Hawks fan I'm biased both ways. I thought the misconduct was enough, maybe +1 game because of the goalie and all, but 3?

Clarence Beeks

April 17th, 2012 at 7:24 PM ^

Thanks for sharing your perspective and experience.  I always appreciate reading what you have to say.

"I really thought Shanahan would bring a player's perspective to the whole process but thus far he has failed miserably and IMO that last Pens/Flyers game was entirely his fault for failing to show any backbone."

I have no doubt this is true.  I also have doubt that he will overcompensate for inconsistency by brininging the hammer down on Asham and Neal, regardless of whether it's warranted or not, in an attempt to get things under control.  The logical end result of his failure to set the tone with the Weber incident was both the Penguins/Flyers and the Carkner situations.  If he'd set the tone with Weber, I doubt either of those happened like that.


April 17th, 2012 at 4:24 PM ^

What about the guy who was the third man in when Hartnell was fighting with Crosby the other day (and ended up pulling his hair)?  Isn't third man in supposed to be an automatic suspension?


April 17th, 2012 at 4:28 PM ^

Craig Adams, and he got an instigator on the play. Since it happened in the last 5 minutes of the game, the instigator penalty carried with it an automatic 1-game suspension (pending league review) and a $10k fine to Bylsma. The NHL reviewed it last night (I think, either then or this morning) and upheld the suspension and fine.

Yinka Double Dare

April 17th, 2012 at 4:25 PM ^

They may have to entirely clean house in the NHL office and get new folks in for player discipline.  I have to think that teams around the league have zero respect for what's coming out of there now.  There's no consistency whatsoever.  You may as well replace them with the Wheel of Justice website or a dart board if they're going to keep on this way.  You wouldn't get worse results, really.  Even if you ignore the Weber/Zetterberg lack of suspension (which I think you have to, pretty much everyone knows they blew it even though they'll never admit it), in what world does Carkner get 1 game for what he did while Shaw gets 3? 


April 17th, 2012 at 4:37 PM ^

Hadn't seen the Shaw play until I just watched the embed.  Goalie seemed to dive big time there.  I get trying to protect defenseless goalies, but he was out of the net making a play on the puck.  Shaw didn't check the guy, but didn't exactly avoid contact either, so I'm ok with a penalty.  But 3 game suspension?  Wierd. 


April 17th, 2012 at 4:38 PM ^

I didn't read the other threads, so sorry if this has already out there, but this Hackel piece is, I think, a pretty good analysis of the results of the league's inaction toward Weber:


I was able to catch the 2nd period of the Rangers/Sens game last night and was thrilled that they played exciting, up and down hockey.  Highly entertaining.  Hope it's a sign of a trend away from cheap stuff.


April 17th, 2012 at 4:59 PM ^

Shanahan is an idiot. I hate the blackhawks and still think the Shaw suspension is way over the top. 

1. Shaw obviously did not mean to hit Mike Smith and was only trying to make a "hockey play"

2. Shaw is very lucky he didn't get a concussion ( I got one years back on a similar play) goalie helmets protect the head a hell of a lot better than player helmets. He was going for the puck, as was the goalie, and happen to go helmet to helmet. That play should have tops been a five minute penalty.

This is beating a dead horse but Shea Webber should have been suspended. If Ian White did the same thing in the same scenerio he would have been suspended.

Calkner one game suspension is laughable, and if Asham gets anything less than five (won't matter Pitt/Philly is going max 5) that will be a joke.

Neal won't get suspended for trying to take out Sean Couterier and Claude Giroux. 


JR's Flow

April 17th, 2012 at 5:14 PM ^

Over the past couple years the NHL has stressed what? Protecting goalies and stars. What about Boyles?? Going after a up and coming defender I think Asham was the worst by far then Weber then Carkner then Hagelin, then Shaws. Shaw's was a hockey move there was no intent at all. Im all for protecting goalies but c'mon. That's embarassing.Hagelin for sure deserves somewhat of a suspension you can't leave your feet an lead with your elbow especially against Sens best player. Carkner took cheap shots and I understand that. Weber got star-protected even though his was worse than all of them above. When it comes to Asham I wouldn't mind him being suspended for the rest of the year. That could've been so much worse and it was he was the first one to step over the line. I think the NHL and Shanahan should look at the worst of the actions without names first when it comes to the ones committing the offense. Take away Webers name and put Josi and he easily is suspended 2-3 games.


April 17th, 2012 at 6:57 PM ^

Ever since the league inception of helmets and visors we had to put up with no respect rule. Then to top it off they put the instigator rule in. Every time there is a scrum they hit each other with their gloves on and no drop of the stick. The *** Wings (can't use that vile color) won with wingers that would score or kick your ass. Now we have Hudler,

Get used to it.


April 17th, 2012 at 9:43 PM ^

Shanahan better suspend Torres after the hit he had on Hossa tonight. That was complete bullshit and Torres didnt even get a penalty. What a joke! Not sure how that happens when a guy leaves his feet and slams right into Hossa right in front of th ref and Hossa slams his head into the ice.

Clarence Beeks

April 17th, 2012 at 11:13 PM ^

Just announced: James Neal suspended one game and Arron Asham suspended four games for their actions in game three of the Pittsburgh/Philadelphia series.  The Neal suspension was solely based on the hit on Giroux (i.e. he was not suspended for the hit on Couturier).


April 18th, 2012 at 6:10 AM ^

I think he got both of those right. I'm surprised Asham didn't get more, but Shanahan has already made it a point that he's taking the resulting injury into consideration, and all three Flyers should be in tonight's game.

Suspending Neal for the Giroux hit only is the right call as that was an elbow targeted at the head. The hit on Couturier should have been a penalty in the game, but you can't suspend a guy because a ref missed a call. He didn't make contact with the head and didn't get his elbow high, he simply flattened him with an illegal check (and to think, if the ref nailed him for the charge there, maybe the Giroux hit doesn't happen and Neal plays tonight...).


April 18th, 2012 at 8:54 AM ^

We had the worst play of the playoffs "So Far" and now we've got Torres' hit on Hossa.

IMHO this is the worst play of the playoffs so far: Torres left his feet, hit late, targeted the head, and launcehd himself. Terrible play.

Add to it that Torres is a repeat offender (suspended twice already this year) and that Hossa is the most injured of any of the victims so far... I say give Torres 25 games. That's the rest of the playoffs. Torres has already been suspended twice this year, and his post-game comments were "I hope he's OK, but it was a hockey play". The NHL needs plays like this out of the league. Only way to do it is to get the goons out of the leauge.


April 18th, 2012 at 11:24 AM ^

Depends on what kind of goon you mean.  If you are talking the Ulf Samuelsson/Claude Lemieux type goon then I agree with you.  If you are talking the Tie Domi/Bob Probert type goon, then I would disagree with you.  If you are a player like Torres and you see a player like Probert on the other side, you know that you are going to pay for what you did.  Since the league is doing such a crappy job of consistency with this stuff maybe they should go back to allowing fighting.