NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan has decided not to let Rostislav Klesla play in Game 5 of the Phoenix Coyotes’ second round series. Klesla will be forced to serve a one-game suspension for shoving Nashville’s Matt Halischuk into the boards during Friday’s contest.
You can view Shanahan’s explanation below:
The fact that Halischuk returned to the game and that Klesla does not have a suspension history related to this kind of a hit worked in Klesla’s favor. Still, the Coyotes will miss his presence in Game 5.
Klesla has been great in the playoffs with two goals and six points in 10 games. Phoenix needs just one more win to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
Last night we saw Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla shove Predators forward Matt Halischuk from behind resulting in an ugly first period hit some thought would be suspension-worthy.
Turns out it was as the NHL will be meeting with Klesla on Sunday afternoon to see if he’ll be sitting out of Game 5 in Glendale on Monday night. Should Klesla wind up being suspended, the Coyotes will be losing their top defender and surprise offensive contributor.
Through the playoffs, Klesla has two goals and four assists and is fourth on the team in points. Losing him would make things a bit harder on Phoenix as they’d be looking to clinch the series. Halischuk was not seriously hurt on the play as he left the game briefly but returned.
Eric Macramalla, who is a lawyer and TSN Radio sports legal analyst, reportedly obtained a copy of the NHLPA’s request to appeal the 25-game suspension given to Raffi Torres.
As we previously reported, Torres’ issue is with the length of his suspension, rather than the fact that he was punished in the first place.
According to Marcamalla’s report, Torres believes the 25-game suspension is “excessive and arbitrary” and also points out that it’s “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 wants to see supplementary discipline dished out in a “consistent manner.” They also state that the hearing and subsequent Torres’ suspension “violated the very basic requirements of a fair process.”
The notion that the suspension was inconsistent with previous rulings seems like the appropriate card to play if you’re the NHLPA. However, it’s worth noting that Shanahan appeared to be factoring in Torres long suspension history when determining his ruling. Marian Hossa, who was the victim of Torres’ hit, echoed that belief.
“I believe he wouldn’t have gotten 25 games if he didn’t have the history of what’s he done before,” Hossa said. “He didn’t get the 25 games because of the hit on me.”
According to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres and the National Hockey League Players Association will appeal his 25-game suspension for hitting Chicago’s Marian Hossa.
(Sportsnet’s Darren Millard notes the appeal challenges suspension length, not the suspension itself.)
The ban was issued on Apr. 21 by NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan and later that day, Torres released a statement through the NHLPA stating he would “take the next few days to decide whether or not to appeal the decision.”
Shortly thereafter, Brough wrote the following:
The risk for the PA should it decide to appeal is considerable. For the past two weeks, the NHL has been lambasted by fans and media for its failure to apply tough justice. An appeal would put the union right in the same cross-hairs. And with the upcoming CBA negotiations, the last thing it’ll want to do is get on the wrong side of the public.
The NHLPA walks a very fine line in these situations. On the one hand, it’s obligated to defend members who it feels are treated unfairly by the league. In the Torres case, the word “scapegoat” comes to mind.
On the other hand, what about Hossa? Isn’t he a member as well?
Torres has already missed six games and since the Coyotes can’t be eliminated before Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal, he’s guaranteed to miss at least another three — bringing his minimum number of games served to nine.
Like all appeals, Torres’ will be heard by league commissioner Gary Bettman.
Last night’s Game 1 between the Blues and Kings wasn’t without controversy as L.A.’s Dwight King hit St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo from behind on a play many felt was worthy of a five-minute major. Pietrangelo left the game with an apparent head injury and may not be able to play in Game 2.
The NHL offered up an explanation as to what referees Stephen Walkom and Eric Furlatt saw on the play and chances are Blues fans aren’t going to like hearing it.
NHL supervisor for officiating in the Blues-Kings series Kay Whitmore says that the referees didn’t initially deem the hit to be violent enough to warrant a major penalty. As for what happened when Pietrangelo was cut and bleeding from the hit, Whitmore says had officials seen it, things would’ve been different.
“There was no visible blood. If it was running down his forehead or his cheek, it’s automatic. It’s a major game-misconduct. In this instance, they didn’t see it initially right away. They didn’t see the blood running down his chin, in his beard … one of those things.”
As for supplementary discipline, Whitmore says Brendan Shanahan’s office reviews everything and if they believe action should be taken, they’ll do it. If you missed the play, have another look at it here in last night’s highlights.
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