There are times (many, many times) when you wonder if Brendan Shanahan wishes he could tell all his critics, “Hey, if you think you can do a better job, by all means, have at it. I’ll be over here drinking a daiquiri and laughing.”
The NHL’s disciplinarian was a little more diplomatic in an exclusive interview with the Globe and Mail, but you could sense his frustration with some of the criticism he’s been hearing recently.
“I think the job is always going to be subjective,” Shanahan said. “Regardless of who does it, the person is going to be accused of a million things. I don’t think people understand the depth of analysis and evaluation that we seek on each case. I get that. People don’t have the time to look at things as long and as deep as we do. But this for us is a 24-hour job. As our families can attest, we obsess about it.
“I’m not going to say we’re perfect. I do think we’re really qualified, and we’re really good.”
Shanahan also tells the Globe his decisions haven’t been influenced by owners.
“When I make a decision that you don’t like, blame me,” he said. “None of us needs to do this. People will say: ‘He needs the job, of course he’ll do whatever they tell him to do.’ No one has told any of us [what to do]. There’s too much scrutiny in this job for any of us to have favorites or alliances with old friends.”
Look, I’m not saying I agree with every ruling Shanahan has made.
But he’s never, ever going to satisfy the people, many of them in the media, that seem to cry for a suspension on every questionable play, AND the people, many of them fans, who think the rough stuff is just playoff hockey, AND the fans that can’t maintain their objectivity because of team allegiances, AND the teams that don’t want their players suspended, AND the teams that want the other teams’ players suspended, AND the people who think intent to injure should be punished, AND the people who think the actual injury should be the deciding factor.