The NHL’s chief disciplinarian didn’t like what Flyers goalie Ray Emery did Friday versus Washington.
In fact, he “hated” it.
But despite his clear disdain for Emery’s actions — specifically, the ones where Emery skated down the ice to attack Capitals goalie Braden Holtby — Brendan Shanahan didn’t feel it was worth a suspension based on the current NHL rulebook and past supplementary discipline rulings.
“I hate what Ray Emery did,” Shanahan said today on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central. “I wouldn’t like it if I were a teammate of his. I wouldn’t like it if I were an opponent of his. And I think, more important, if the rest of the caretakers of our game, the general managers, don’t like it, it’s important for us to say when a rule is not properly addressed in the rulebook. And I don’t think it is.”
Shanahan did reference the one-game suspension he gave to then-Ottawa player Matt Carkner in April of 2012 for being the aggressor in an altercation with an unwilling opponent, Rangers forward Brian Boyle.
The difference? Shanahan felt the Carkner incident was “much worse” than Friday’s incident, and also noted that Carkner had a history. As such, he couldn’t justify a suspension for Emery, even if Emery was clearly guilty of breaking the aggressor rule (see below).
“If you look at the two [incidents] and line them up, it’s not the same,” said Shanahan.
From the NHL’s rulebook:
46.2 Aggressor – The aggressor in an altercation shall be the player who continues to throw punches in an attempt to inflict punishment on his opponent who is in a defenseless position or who is an unwilling combatant.
A player must be deemed the aggressor when he has clearly won the fight but he continues throwing and landing punches in a further attempt to inflict punishment and/or injury on his opponent who is no longer in a position to defend himself.
A player who is deemed to be the aggressor of an altercation shall be assessed a major penalty for fighting and a game misconduct.
A player who is deemed to be the aggressor of an altercation will have this recorded as an aggressor of an altercation for statistical and suspension purposes.
A player who is deemed to be both the instigator and aggressor of an altercation shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting, a ten-minute misconduct (instigator) and a game misconduct penalty (aggressor).
Related: NHL to discuss 10-game suspension for goalie fights, per report