Author: Matt Reitz

Miikka Kiprusoff David Booth

Shanahan explains Booth non-suspension

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On Saturday night, there were two similar plays that involved goaltender collisions that were expected to receive the attention of league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. Earlier in the day, we learned that Nashville forward Jordin Tootoo would receive a two-game unpaid vacation for running over Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller. On the other hand, Shanahan ruled that Vancouver forward David Booth would not be suspended for plowing over Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.

Even though the plays were similar in nature, Shanahan believed that there were significant differences that warranted a suspension for Tootoo and prevented Booth from any supplementary discipline.

“On the Booth play, he’s got the puck longer and the Calgary defenceman is right on his back and leaning on him right into the collision,” Shanahan told the Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis. “Just before impact, Booth turns his skates and is blowing snow and is trying to stop. At no point is Tootoo trying to stop. He argued that he was trying to jump. Whether it was intentional to hurt Miller or get out of the way — either way, it was the wrong decision. It made the collision worse.”

“I think with Booth he has less options because the player is leaning on his back right into the goalie.”

Bottom line: Tootoo was given a two-game suspension because Shanahan ruled that he never tried to avoid contact. Since Booth was trying to stop (and still made contact), he escaped the Shanahammer. Of course, if you put both of these plays against the Lucic hit that sidelined Ryan Miller for a few weeks with a concussion (or whiplash), it gets increasingly difficult to find consistency.  Then again, we were warned it would be this way.

It wasn’t surprising that Tootoo was suspended with the cast of characters involved and the public outcry afterwards (as well as the comments of Lindy Ruff). There was no way that Miller was going to get run over in his first game back without any response from the league. But the Booth situation proved that players can still crash the net without being suspended. In the long-run, just about every skater and coach would agree that it’s the way hockey needs to be played. Goaltenders may not be so quick to agree.

What do you think fair hockey fans? Do you buy Shanahan’s explanation for suspending Jordin Tootoo while letting David Booth walk away without punishment? Let us know in the comments…

Video: Roenick and Jones discuss NHL realignment

NHL logo

The major talk around the hockey world over the last 24 hours has been NHL realignment and what it’ll mean for the league, the teams, and even the players. Everyone seemingly has an opinion—Jeremy Roenick and Keith Jones are no different. Check out what they have to say about the new conferences, the new schedule that features each team visiting each arena, and creating rivalries.

If nothing else, check it out for an old time “Snorris Division” reference from Roenick. Good times.

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Seguin healthy scratch for disciplinary reasons

Tyler Seguin

When the Boston Bruins took the ice tonight against the Winnipeg Jets tonight, they did so without the services of budding superstar Tyler Seguin. The absence isn’t because of an unreported injury—or any other health problem for that matter. No, according to Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli, Seguin was scratched for missing the team breakfast and meeting this morning.

Our apologies for anyone that was depending on 19 in their fantasy leagues tonight.

CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty talked to Chiarelli who explained that Seguin “didn’t take it well,” but understood that the team rules are there for a reason. The worrisome part for Bruins fans (and the organization) is that this isn’t the first time they’ve had attendance problems with the 19-year-old forward. Sometimes young players just need to be reminded that there are rules in place for each and every guy on the roster. Seguin certainly wouldn’t be the first young players that needed a reminder.

Seguin isn’t the first high profile player that has been sent to the press box as a healthy scratch this season. Alex Semin was a healthy scratch earlier this year because he came down with a horrible case of “the minor penalties.” Tomas Kaberle took a seat in the press box because of his poor play and Derick Brassard has been a healthy scratch multiple times this season for the Columbus Blue Jackets. You may have heard about that story from his agent.

Needless to say, the Bruins hope that they can get Seguin’s attention with tonight’s decision. It’s a young player learning a lesson how to be a professional. But if he misses another meeting or breakfast after today, then there’s a bigger problem to worry about in Boston.

North Dakota saying goodbye to Fighting Sioux nickname

NCAA Fighting Sioux Meeting

There have been discussion, negotiations, and even lawsuits over the last few years revolving around the University of North Dakota and their Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. Finally, there is some action to go along with all of the talk.

The school is now taking significant steps to transition away from the Fighting Sioux nickname/logo—a process that will be “substantially completed” by December 31, 2011. The hockey team will continue to wear the same jerseys until February when the new jerseys are available, but around campus the school will take steps to remove the logo and nickname from just about all visible locations.

According to the University, the school is aiming for “several key values” while they transition the nickname and logo. They say they want to show respect, take care, provide inclusiveness, and show transparency as they make the move away from the Fighting Sioux.

That’s politically correct speak for “we’re going to do it and try really hard to not upset anyone in the process.”

After expunging the Fighting Sioux from the campus, the next step will be to settle on a new nickname for the university. It’s a process that the school isn’t even allowed to start working on until January 2012; and it’s a process that won’t be completed overnight. According to the school, “the law stipulates that neither UND nor the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education may adopt a new nickname or logo before January 2015.” Until then, the school will just be known as the University of North Dakota and will use their interlocking ND logo as their primary logo.

It’s been a long time coming, but the Fighting Sioux nickname is finally on its death bed. For anyone that wants jerseys or memorabilia that will soon be “vintage,” you have a couple of months before their licensed dealers will be prohibited from selling merchandise with the Fighting Sioux logo.

At least the fans will still be able to wear whatever they want to games.

PHT’s Morning Skate: Realignment, enforcers, and diving

Victor Hedman

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Looks like the Flyers could have injury problems on the blueline. No, we’re not talking about Pronger either. (CSN Philly)

Speaking of the Flyers, are they a team that has a reputation for diving? Bruce Boudreau thinks so. (OC Register)

The enforcer role is slowly being fazed out of NHL rosters. Adrian Dater thinks that’s a step in the right direction. (Denver Post)

John Branch takes a look back at Derek Boogaard and the life and death of an enforcer. (New York Times)

Todd McLennan planned on giving the Sharks a day off on Sunday. But after their lackluster effort against the Panthers, that went out the window. (Mercury News)

Do you want to know if the Detroit Red Wings may end up in the Eastern Conference? Could the Dallas Stars end up in the “Howe Division?” Here’s what realignment could look like. (Star-Ledger)

Is 20-year-old, Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman worth $20 million? Absolutely. (Tampa Tribune)

It’s going to take time, but the Capitals are already starting to show some signs that they are acclimating themselves to Dale Hunter’s style of play. (Kings of Leonsis)

We’re hearing plenty about The Nuge in the early going this year. But No. 2 overall pick Gabriel Landeskog hasn’t disappointed either. (Backhand Shelf)

It’s no secret that the Kings are struggling to score goals these days. But is that the coach’s fault or should the blame be directed towards players? (Surly & Scribe)

The last time we saw Ryan Miller in the net, he was getting hit by an opponent and trying to figure out what was going on while his teammates sat idly on the sidelines. On Saturday night, the Sabres proved that they learned their lesson. Check out the video: