Nashville Predators fans are understandably upset that Jordin Tootoo was suspended two games for running over Sabres goalie Ryan Miller. After all, if Milan Lucic can run over Miller and get away with a minor penalty, why can’t Tootoo?
Brendan Shanahan’s explanation hardly assuaged the feeling the Preds got screwed.
“It is the attacking player’s responsibility to make a better effort not to crash directly into the opposing goaltender,” said the NHL’s disciplinarian in punishing Tootoo.
So, wait, why wasn’t Lucic suspended again? Nobody really believes he couldn’t have made a better effort to avoid Miller, do they?
But here’s the thing – the two incidents can’t be compared. Not after Shanahan received new marching orders from the general managers following the Lucic-Miller case.
On Nov. 15, after meeting with the general managers in Toronto, Shanahan told reporters that, “going forward certainly the direction and the conversation of the issue was certainly of a heightened sensitivity to the well-being of our goaltenders. As I’ve said many times, I’m not a policy maker, I’m a policy enforcer.”
And clearly the general managers had come up with a new policy, one that they’d be sharing with their teams.
So while it might not seem fair that Lucic got away with running the goalie and Tootoo didn’t, it’s sort of like the asbestos industry complaining it can’t put asbestos in schools anymore. The rules have changed. Get used to it.