Brendan Shanahan

Brendan Shanahan goes in-depth on suspensions with NHL Live

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(Note: Things get especially interesting around the 5:15 mark of this video.)

Make no mistake about it, there are some players who are confused about the new disciplinary measures being instituted by Brendan Shanahan. That group includes Mike Fisher, who was baffled by the decision not to suspend Francois Beauchemin, the guy who injured him with an open-ice hit.

Give Shanahan credit for attempting to be transparent, but the video highlights a slight concern (beyond the improper pronunciation of Wojtek Wolski – apparently it’s VOY-tek VOL-skee). My worry is that there’s an excessive dependence on reputation, which at times almost borders on amateur mind reading.

Shanny draws from his experience playing against Chris Neil along with Wolski’s lack of a history as a dirty hitter as part partial explanations for why they didn’t face suspensions. There’s definitely some sound logic behind that, but it hints at dangerous assumptions – and to conspiracy theorists, maybe even cronyism.

Ultimately, the NHL is going in the right direction and it should probably be expected that there will be some growing pains. How are you feeling about the changes so far?

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.