Tag: non-suspensions

Vancouver Canucks v Anaheim Ducks

Francois Beauchemin avoids suspension

The Anaheim Ducks will play without a marginal player in J.F. Jacques,* but important defenseman Francois Beauchemin avoided a suspension for his hit that separated the shoulder of Columbus Blue Jackets sniper Jeff Carter. Decide for yourself if the NHL made the right decision by reviewing the video below:

* – Jacques received a three-game suspension for his check on R.J. Umberger.

Shanahan explains Booth non-suspension

Miikka Kiprusoff David Booth
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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…

No suspension for Zach Bogosian


The NHL decided not to fine or suspend Winnipeg Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian for his check on Washington Capitals center Cody Eakin. The league decided that although Bogosian’s hit connected with Eakin’s head, the Capitals forward changed the direction of his body shortly before the check landed, so it wasn’t a case of headhunting. Bogosian did not receive a penalty in the game for the hit, for what it’s worth.

How do you feel about the league’s decision, though? Here’s video for your own perusal.


Aaron Rome gets off the hook (kind of)

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Unlike during the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, Aaron Rome’s dumb-hit related shame will be limited to one game. The Vancouver Canucks surrendered three Anaheim Ducks power-play goals after Rome received a major for his check on Devante Smith-Pelly, which apparently was punishment enough in the eyes of Brendan Shanahan & Co.

The Vancouver Province reports that Rome won’t be fined or suspended for that check, although Shanahan isn’t very happy with “certain elements” of that action. Take a look at the video and decide for yourself if that game misconduct and major penalty (not to mention drawing the ire of his team and fans) provided enough of a consequence for Rome.

One thing’s for sure: it won’t make Smith-Pelly’s nose any less broken …

NHL won’t punish Wayne Simmonds for alleged homophobic comment

New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers

No doubt about it, Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds is experiencing a crazy week – even if he downplayed each well-publicized incident. One thing that won’t make things a little bit nuttier is a suspension or fine, though. The Canadian Press reports that Simmonds won’t face discipline for allegedly uttering a homophobic remark toward New York Rangers pest Sean Avery.

Shortly after the game, Simmonds told reporters that he didn’t remember what he said – only that “language was exchanged.” On the other hand, Avery confirmed the rumors, which were originally based on a video that convinced many lip-reading hockey fans that Simmonds was guilty of such trash talk. Earlier today, Simmonds denied that he made the remark.

It might seem ridiculous to some that such an incident generated suspension debate, but there are examples of the league handing out harsh verdicts for things players say (or gestures they make) rather than hits they deliver. As Joe pointed out earlier today, the NBA also made headlines when they fined Kobe Bryant a whopping $100,000 grand when a microphone caught the Los Angeles Lakers star making a homophobic slur.

The NHL probably made the right move

As revolting as trash talk can be – whether the insults revolve around race, sexual preference or other touchy social issues – it’s hard to blame the NHL for not taking action. Even if you believe in the power of lip reading, the league might have trouble suspending Simmonds based on limited evidence. Generally speaking, I think it’s probably unreasonable for a league to police the unsettling words that players use against each other when tempers flare.

Simmonds won’t get punished in a formal way, but it’s possible that he’ll lose face in the court of public opinion. If nothing else, this should be a lesson to any player talking smack: remember that microphones and cameras are all over the place. (And they’re only going to become more prevalent as technology improves.)

Safer alternatives for belittling opponents

With that in mind, players should stick to friendlier forms of mockery, such as:

  • Someone’s questionable hair style.
  • A person’s inability to grow a beard/let go of a not-even-ironic mustache.
  • Perhaps mocking that person’s former junior or college hockey program would be a more family-friendly way to go?
  • If you want to get really specific, you can even critique a player’s fashion sense. (Avery would approve.)

Sure, making fun of a player for going bald, having a mullet or wearing socks with sandals isn’t going to enrage them to the point of taking a bad penalty in most cases, but it’s better than losing face and encouraging activist groups to speak out against you.* (Although Bobby Hull might disagree with that general point.)

From my perspective, it’s a relief that this didn’t result in a formal penalty, even if it’s a very disappointing situation. What do you think about the lack of punishment? Should he sit out a game or more? Would the league be justified in at least giving him the CBA maximum fine of $2,500 for the incident? Let us know in the comments.

* – On the bright side, PETA wasn’t involved.