Colorado Avalanche v Vancouver Canucks

Video: Porter knees Booth, Shanahan hearing next?


Midway through the first period of Vancouver’s 6-0 win over Colorado last night, Avalanche center Kevin Porter caught Canucks LW David Booth with a knee-on-knee hit:

Porter was tagged with a five-minute kneeing major and game misconduct; Booth left the contest immediately and didn’t return (he’s scheduled for an MRI today.)

With the factual stuff out of the way, you know what comes next:


Colorado head coach Joe Sacco felt the call on Porter was marginal, a view he expressed in a less-than-cordial postgame interview with the Vancouver Sun’s Elliott Pap (courtesy the Denver Post):

Pap: “You thought the Porter hit on Booth was a marginal call?”

Sacco: “Yeah.”

Pap: “Oh, really.”

Sacco: “Yeah.”

Pap: “Did you see a replay of it?”

(Two, three seconds of looking at Pap … )

Sacco: “Did I what?”

Pap: “Did you see a replay of it?”

Sacco: “Yes, I did.”

Aaaaand scene.

Meanwhile, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault told reporters he didn’t see the hit and therefore couldn’t pass judgement (to which the Vancouver Sun’s Iain MacIntyre wrote “makes you wonder if he’s watching M*A*S*H* reruns between periods or game film.”)

Finally, here’s the latest update from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

“I certainly didn’t like the look of that hit,” LeBrun writes. “The league will definitely take a look at it — the league reviews all controversial plays — although whether or not Sheriff Shanny believes it’s worth a hearing was still undetermined as of this morning when I checked with the league.”

For what it’s worth, Shanahan hasn’t issued a suspension for kneeing yet. He’s punished boarding, elbowing, headbutting, checks to the head, checks from behind, high-sticking and leaving the bench to fight — but not kneeing. This could end up being like a medical drama, where the surgeons clamor for different types of surgeries so they can say they’ve done them. I guess this would make a kneeing suspension the equivalent of endovascular aortic repair. You just don’t see that every day.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.