Consider Brendan Shanahan’s message sent to the rest of the league.
After seeing Shanahan book Flames forward Pierre-Luc Letorneau-Leblond for six games for his reckless play already this preseason, Jody Shelley didn’t stand much of a chance to skate by lightly after his wicked hit from behind on Toronto’s Darryl Boyce last night.
Shanahan threw the book at Shelley suspending him for 10 total games for his careless play. Shelley will miss the rest of the preseason for Philadelphia as well as the first five games of the regular season. After Shelley had been suspended twice last year for hitting from behind as well as Shanahan’s own clarification on what boarding hits are worthy of being sat down, Shelley delivered a thunderous hit from behind in last night’s preseason game against the Leafs. The hit put Boyce down on the ice and cause Leafs brawler Jay Rosehill to go after Shelley for committing the offense.
With two major suspensions doled out in the same day, the one thing that is clear is that things will not be run the same way as they were under Colin Campbell. The days of minimal suspensions or fines being used to mete out justice for reckless and dangerous play are through.
Shanahan explains his take on the hit through this video at the NHL site.
Shanahan explains that Shelley’s history of reckless hits as well as his actions against Boyce both played into his decision in sitting him down for the rest of the preseason and the first five games of the regular season. Shelley will be eligible to come back in the Flyers’s sixth game of the season on Thursday October 20 against the Washington Capitals.
If players aren’t getting the message yet that times are going to be different, it’ll be up to Shanahan to stay diligent and continue to lay down the law that careless, dangerous hits will not be tolerated. Eventually the players will learn that they can’t keep putting their hand on a hot stove, they will get burned for it.