It might be “just” the preseason, but new head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan is using these exhibition games to set the tone for the league’s revamped policies going into the 2010-11 season. Shanahan handed heavy punishments to Jody Shelley and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond for illegal hits and suspended James Wisniewski and Brad Staubitz indefinitely for incidents they were involved in.
While a handy video of the illegal hit won’t be available until later this evening, Shanahan & Co. decided to deal out yet another punishment today. Buffalo Sabres forward Brad Boyes will sit out two preseason games for an illegal hit to the head on Toronto Maple Leafs center Joe Colborne.
That check happened 1:46 into the first period. There was no penalty on that check, which you can see here. It didn’t look like an excessively ugly hit, but these are still the kind of blows that the NHL hope to phase out of the game.
This suspension means that Boyes won’t play in Columbus tonight and Washington on Friday, but he’ll be available for an exhibition game against Adler in Manheim, Germany on Oct. 4.