Tag: Brendan Shanahan

Charlie Coyle

PHT Morning Skate: Another Wild rookie on the way up


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.

The Wild have called up rookie winger Charlie Coyle. The future is quickly becoming now in Minnesota. (Star-Tribune)

Give it up to Boston’s Chris Bourque for making his first goal of the season count the most as the only tally and game-winner against Toronto. (CSNNE.com)

Want to know what it’s like to spend a day with the NHL’s Player Safety crew and Brendan Shanahan? Here’s your hook-up. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Peter Chiarelli would prefer you not to judge Brian Burke based solely on the Phil Kessel trade. (Toronto Sun)

The Blues would like rookie Jaden Schwartz to be more like their other rookie Vladimir Tarasenko and shoot more. (Post-Dispatch)

The Predators are finally getting what they were hoping for out of Craig Smith. (The Tennessean)

Anyone know what’s next for Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele? (Winnipeg Free Press)

Is it time for Flyers GM Paul Holmgren to swing some deals? (Ottawa Sun)

Finally, all hail our dark lord Teemu Selanne. His empty-net goal last night was the 666th tally of his career. (Battle Of California)

Primeau, Shanahan appear in “Head Games” documentary about concussions

Brendan Shanahan
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Concussions and controversial hits have faded into the background thanks to the lockout, but head injuries are still a major concern and storyline in modern sports.

Filmmaker Steve James (of “Hoop Dreams” fame) decided to tackle the issue of concussions in his 2011 documentary “Head Games,” which includes prominent appearances from Brendan Shanahan and Keith Primeau.*

The documentary leans heaviest toward the NFL and football in general, but the NHL’s issues – and measures to make changes – also surface frequently. Some of the clips and photos might bring back some tough memories, as the movie shows memorable checks such as Zdeno Chara’s hit on Max Pacioretty and also discusses the deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Bob Probert.

Yet even though James’ documentary brings up some difficult questions for hockey and sports in general, James told NHL.com that the league has been progressive in many areas.

“I do think all the sports have a ways to go in terms of how they handle rules and discussions around concussions, but the NHL has certainly been more forward-thinking on this issue than football,” James said.

” … I think the fact that Brendan Shanahan has taken that role and taken it very seriously is a very positive thing. Daly was obvious and candid about the League’s view [in the film]. He basically said there is going to be brain injuries, no way around it. I think it was great he was willing to state it.”

You can read a little more about it – including Primeau’s emotional presence in the film – in NHL.com’s article or check out the movie via various outlets. (It’s on Netflix Instant Queue, for instance.)

* -You might not be as excited to see Bill Daly thanks to his prominence in the CBA discussions, but he makes a cameo, too.

Shanahan lauds USHL program aimed to reduce “dumb and dangerous” play

Brendan Shanahan

Chief NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan has praised a United States Hockey League initiative designed to cut down hazardous play.

The pilot program, spearheaded by USHL commissioner Skip Prince, is a five-point plan designed to eliminate what the league refers to as “the dumb and dangerous play.”

More, from NHL.com:

The five primary elements of the USHL initiative include:

* New regulations governing dangerous play.

* Monitoring, review, early intervention and supplementary discipline by the commissioner’s office.

* Conferencing among the league’s hockey ops, competition committee, coaches, officials and players on how to improve play.

* A focus on improving equipment.

* Devising a more consistent way of tracking injuries.

The USHL liaised with the NHL about the pilot program, one that Shanahan seemed impressed with.

“The National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety applauds the USHL for taking a proactive approach to player safety that focuses on changing on-ice behavior,” Shanahan said. “Instilling the proper approach to the game at the junior level is critical both to improving player safety and developing players who someday will become effective NHL players.”

The plan has several wrinkles that are intriguing to all levels of hockey:

— Team captains and players are informed of their roles in the safety program.

— The league is allowing players to wear three-quarter shields instead of full face cages, in an effort to provide better visual fields.

— Rather than eliminate fighting, the USHL is attempting to fix the “lead-up” issues without taking the overall aggressiveness out of the game.

The announcement of the league’s pilot program comes just days after the Ontario Hockey League implemented its new fighting rule for 2012-13.

Bettman reduces Torres suspension by four games (Updated)


Big non-free agent news Monday — TSN’s Darren Dreger reports Raffi Torres has successfully (somewhat) appealed his 25-game suspension.

According to sources, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will reduce the remaining time on Torres’ suspension from 12 games to eight.

UPDATE: The NHL has released a statement, though it doesn’t explain why the suspension was reduced.

The length of the suspension includes the 13 games Torres already served during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Torres therefore will remain suspended, without pay, for the first eight games of the upcoming regular season. Because he is classified as a repeat offender under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Torres will forfeit $170,731.68 in salary. In addition, Torres will be ineligible to participate in any preseason games until he has served the full term of the suspension.

“This type of on-ice conduct cannot and will not be tolerated in the National Hockey League,” Commissioner Bettman said. “We have seen similar behavior before from Mr. Torres and, particularly given the League’s heightened scrutiny on hits to the head, I believe that a very significant penalty is warranted in this case. We hope and expect that the severity of this incident, and the League’s response to it, will help prevent any similar incident from occurring in the future.”

It’s a significant decision and one rife with ramifications — Bettman has overruled the longest and arguably most controversial decision of Brendan Shanahan’s time as NHL discipline czar.

Torres was suspended 25 games for a hit on Chicago’s Marian Hossa during Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals. The severity of the hit, combined with Torres’ repeat offender status, led to Shanahan issuing the second-longest suspension (tied) for an on-ice incident in modern NHL history.

Torres missed the final 13 games of Phoenix’s postseason.

This successful appeal will be an interesting conversation piece as the NHL and NHLPA continue to negotiate towards a new collective bargaining agreement.

Almost immediately after Shanahan handed down his ruling, Torres released a statement through the PA — that was followed by a the PA’s appeal request, claiming the suspension was “excessive and arbitrary” and “more than double the length of any ever issued by Brendan Shanahan and is one of the longest suspensions in the history of the NHL.”

The NHLPA also wanted to see supplementary discipline dished out in a “consistent manner,” and stated the hearing and subsequent Torres’ suspension “violated the very basic requirements of a fair process.”

No league discipline for Devils-Rangers Game 4 shenanigans

Ryan Callahan, Ilya Kovalchuk

Not every day has to be a Brendan Shanahan day in the NHL and today is apparently one of them.

Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice reports the league won’t be looking into any of the incidents that went down in Game 4 between the Devils and Rangers. Gulitti says an elbow from Marian Gaborik to Marek Zidlicky went unnoticed during and now after the game while Ilya Kovalchuk’s spearing action on Ryan Callahan will also go without league attention.

That also means Mike Rupp’s fly-by chop to the chest/head of Martin Brodeur, a hit Brodeur calls a sucker punch, won’t be coming across Shanahan’s desk as well. All things considered, the Devils seemed to handle that just fine by scoring on the resulting power play and putting the game away in the third period.

Game 5 should be good and spicy tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden (8:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN).