As we mentioned during the weekend, the NHL held a disciplinary meeting with Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Jody Shelley today regarding his hit from behind on Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid.
The league made a pretty reasonable decision, handing the Flyers enforcer a two-game suspension for the hit. You can view video of the suspension-worthy boarding check at the bottom of this post.
Shelley received a five-minute major and game misconduct for the hit during the game itself. He will give up $11,827.96 in salary, which will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund, according to the league. The two games Shelley will miss via suspension are Tuesday’s game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins and Wednesday’s match against the Montreal Canadiens.
He will be eligible to return during Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers, if the team decides to dress the limited fighter.
To his credit, Shelley apologized for the hit. To just about everyone’s relief, it also sounds like McQuaid might be OK (he at least is saying it isn’t a head injury).
Shelley apologized to McQuaid at the time of the incident and in the hallway outside the dressing rooms. The 24-year-old defenseman did return to the ice in the third period.
“You know, he was saying to me, I could hear him on the ice saying that he didn’t mean to, so I guess, I’m not sure if maybe I don’t know if he hit a rut or what happened, but he was saying he didn’t mean to,” McQuaid said. “When I was coming off the ice, (Shelley) was waiting for me there. He said he was sorry and he didn’t mean to, so I just kind of got to take what he says.”
McQuaid said he was a little sore and stiff, but reiterated to reporters after the game that it was not a head injury.
“They did a few tests and I got checked out and everything,” he said.
It seems like the NHL made the right call compared to previous rulings, but what do you think? Is the punishment too light, too severe or just right? Let us know in the comments.
Does the NHL have a cocaine problem?
TSN caught up with deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who provided some fascinating insight:
“The number of [cocaine] positives are more than they were in previous years and they’re going up,” Daly said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis in any sense. What I’d say is drugs like cocaine are cyclical and you’ve hit a cycle where it’s an ‘in’ drug again.”
Daly said that he’d be surprised “if we’re talking more than 20 guys” and then touched on something that may be a problem: they don’t test it in a “comprehensive way.”
As Katie Strang’s essential ESPN article about the Los Angeles Kings’ tough season explored in June, there are some challenges for testing for a drug like cocaine. That said, there are also some limitations that may raise some eyebrows.
For one, it metabolizes quickly. Michael McCabe, a Philadelphia-based toxicology expert who works for Robson Forensic, told ESPN.com that, generally speaking, cocaine filters out of the system in two to four days, making it relatively easy to avoid a flag in standard urine tests.
The NHL-NHLPA’s joint drug-testing program is not specifically designed to target recreational drugs such as cocaine or marijuana. The Performance Enhancing Substances Program is put into place to do exactly that — screen for performance-enhancing drugs.
So, are “party drugs” like cocaine and molly an issue for the NHL?
At the moment, the answer almost seems to be: “the league hopes not.”
Daly goes into plenty of detail on the issue, so read the full TSN article for more.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.