You don’t usually hear from the NHL’s VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan once he’s handed out punishment, but he made a stop on the Boomer & Carton radio show on WFAN in New York City and had some fascinating things to say about his decisions in the postseason.
One incident he was grilled about was the fine given to Nashville captain Shea Weber for his WWE head-smash of Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg. Shanahan told Boomer & Carton that he was really close to banning Weber for a game (audio) but was saved by none other than Red Wings GM Ken Holland.
“I looked at that one and I’m not happy with that play,” Shanahan said. “I investigated that hit. I called Detroit that night. I think that (Weber) pushed (Zetterberg’s) face in the glass. I was really close to a one-game suspension on that and when I talked to Detroit and I talked to (Ken Holland) he basically said the player was fine.”
We know that punishing the intent of the play is what should happen and that punishing for injury (or not punishing for a lack of one) looks reactionary, but I’m willing to give Shanahan a break here for being open and honest enough to give a look into how the process goes for this.
Of course, that doesn’t take away from the seeming lack of common sense that happens when these instances are discussed. It would seem logical that a nasty play with ill intent would be punished, but things are different in the NHL whether we like it or not.