No one escapes the ever-watchful eye of league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. Anaheim’s J.F. Jacques was the guy busted by the NHL this time around as he made a legal line change in a preseason game against Vancouver for the express purpose of starting a fight with Canucks forward Mike Duco in the waning minutes of their game.
While instigating a fight in the final five minutes earned Jacques at least a one game ban, Shanahan stepped things up severely suspending Jacques for the rest of the preseason and the first five games of the regular season, eight games in all. Jacques will give up $17,567.55 for the time he’ll be sitting out and that money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
The suspension is already the sixth one handed down by Shanahan in the preseason as Jacques will join Pierre-Luc Letorneau-Leblond, Jody Shelley, James Wisniewski, Brad Staubitz, and Brad Boyes on Shanahan’s hit list. Shanahan is again showing no mercy in sitting players down who run afoul of the law and that no bad deed or illegal play will go unpunished.
If you’d like to see video of Shanahan’s explanation as to why Jacques is getting suspended so fiercely, you can check it out here:
Consider Brendan Shanahan’s message sent to the rest of the league.
After seeing Shanahan book Flames forward Pierre-Luc Letorneau-Leblond for six games for his reckless play already this preseason, Jody Shelley didn’t stand much of a chance to skate by lightly after his wicked hit from behind on Toronto’s Darryl Boyce last night.
Shanahan threw the book at Shelley suspending him for 10 total games for his careless play. Shelley will miss the rest of the preseason for Philadelphia as well as the first five games of the regular season. After Shelley had been suspended twice last year for hitting from behind as well as Shanahan’s own clarification on what boarding hits are worthy of being sat down, Shelley delivered a thunderous hit from behind in last night’s preseason game against the Leafs. The hit put Boyce down on the ice and cause Leafs brawler Jay Rosehill to go after Shelley for committing the offense.
With two major suspensions doled out in the same day, the one thing that is clear is that things will not be run the same way as they were under Colin Campbell. The days of minimal suspensions or fines being used to mete out justice for reckless and dangerous play are through.
Shanahan explains his take on the hit through this video at the NHL site.
Shanahan explains that Shelley’s history of reckless hits as well as his actions against Boyce both played into his decision in sitting him down for the rest of the preseason and the first five games of the regular season. Shelley will be eligible to come back in the Flyers’s sixth game of the season on Thursday October 20 against the Washington Capitals.
If players aren’t getting the message yet that times are going to be different, it’ll be up to Shanahan to stay diligent and continue to lay down the law that careless, dangerous hits will not be tolerated. Eventually the players will learn that they can’t keep putting their hand on a hot stove, they will get burned for it.
As the hockey world ponders the potential penalty for Jody Shelly’s hit on Darryl Boyce, Brendan Shanahan and the NHL have taken action for a different check. The league decided to suspend Calgary Flames enforcer Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond for the remainder of the preseason and one regular season game for an illegal boarding check on Vancouver Canucks’ forward Matt Clackson.
(Scroll to the bottom of this post for video of the hit and Shanahan’s explanation.)
Much like Shelley’s check on Boyce, it was a hit from behind. Both players are also repeat offenders, which often factors into the severity of a suspension. Letourneau-Leblond received a minor penalty for boarding during that contest, while Shelley received a major penalty and was ejected from Wednesday night’s game for his infraction. Letourneau-Leblond’s hit came on Tuesday, which might explain why that decision was announced before Shelley’s situation has been clarified.
Letourneau-Leblond will lose $6,420.44 for missing that game and will be eligible to return against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 10. The suspension covers four preseason games and the Flames’ season opener against the Penguins in Calgary on Oct. 8.
Here is the text version of Shanahan’s explanation for the suspension.
“Letourneau-Leblond took a direct route toward Clackson, hit him squarely from behind into the boards and drove through the check high and hard,” Shanahan said. “Clackson’s back was turned toward Letourneau-Leblond well before the contract, requiring that Letourneau-Leblond avoid or minimize the check completely. He did neither.”
So what do you think of Shanahan’s first decision in Colin Campbell’s old role?