Tag: Pierre-Luc Letorneau-Leblond

Ryan Hollweg, J.F. Jacques

NHL suspends Jean-Francois Jacques for 8 total games for leaving bench to start a fight

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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:

Statement made: Jody Shelley suspended 10 games for reckless hit against Toronto

Jody Shelley

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.

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond will miss rest of preseason, Flames’ season opener for illegal hit

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Jody Shelley

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?

Devils enforcer Cam Janssen discusses dealing with depression, stresses of his role

Edmonton Oilers v St. Louis Blues

There’s no doubt that the recent string of deaths for enforcers has been a troubling trend for the NHL. It might be a bit much to call three ugly instances an “epidemic,” but some are throwing around that term. However you frame the situation, the consensus seems to be that opening the lines of communication will be an important element of any plans to prevent more untimely deaths.

While people debate the merits of banning fighting altogether, it’s important to keep a close eye on the guys who hope to continue earning paychecks for on-ice skirmishes.

One fringe fighter who’s hoping to make his way back onto the New Jersey Devils’ roster is Cam Janssen. Janssen might be best known for his marathon fight with former Devils pugilist Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, but he’s had plenty of other battles in his career, with 17 in 2010-11 alone.

With all of those fights in mind, Janssen seems like a good person to ask about the effects of fighting and how he handles the general drawbacks of his profession. He spoke candidly on that subject with Rich Chere of the Newark Star-Ledger, admitting that depression might just be part of the job.

“I think it has something to do with the job. Absolutely,” Janssen said. “People look at the fame and the money part of pro athletes and they don’t understand how hard and stressful it can be. Listen, I have the absolute coolest job in the world, but it’s also one of the most stressful jobs in the world, too.

“If you look at me, talk to me and see me every day, you’d say, ‘This kid has absolutely no depression.’ But everybody has depression. Some have it more than others. It’s how you deal with it. You can feel sorry for yourself, lock yourself in your room all day and kind of crawl into a hole and deal with it that way. Or you can go out and get something accomplished, work out and do the right things to get over it. There are different ways of coping with depression.”

Janssen probably touches on the central theme of much of the discussion: many believe that it’s dangerous for anyone to “bottle up” their issues with depression – from enforcers to everyday people. Janssen wasn’t sure what to make of the trend, since each situation was different.

“With Boogaard, painkillers and alcohol are a deadly mix. He’s an NHL enforcer, but that could happen to anybody anywhere,” Janssen suggested. “From what I heard, Rypien had some off-ice issues and depression problems that I don’t want to get into because I don’t know the inside. From what I hear, he had problems and it wasn’t because of what he did and being an enforcer. So you can rule both of them out.

“I have no idea what the deal is with Belak. I have no idea what happened. All I know is he was an unbelievable, well-liked human being. Everywhere he went I heard nothing but good things. Fighting him, the battles we’ve had, he’s been very respectful and very honest. And very clear-headed and clear-minded. He didn’t seem unpredictable, let’s put it that way.”

Belak’s funeral will take place in Nashville this afternoon. There still might be some finger-pointing going on when it comes to his death and the recent string of deaths in general, but all the NHL can do is take as many steps as it can to help those who need it. Getting enforcers like Janssen to open up about the issue could be an important first step.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)

Cam Janssen bringing his fists back to New Jersey

Edmonton Oilers v St. Louis Blues

The New Jersey Devils were without an enforcer for all of about eight hours. After the Devils shipped noted pugilist Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond to Calgary for a 5th round pick next year, they went out and signed another master of the fistacuffs in Cam Janssen. Terms of the one-year deal were not immediately released, but the acquisition shouldn’t cost the Devils much in the way of salary. Janssen has made anywhere between $550,000 and $600,000 over the last four years of his NHL career—it’s unlikely he’d be much of a raise.

The free agent signing brings Janssen back to the team that originally drafted him in the 4th round of the 2002 Entry Draft. Janssen’s agent Kevin Magnuson of KO Sports Inc. spoke to The Bergen Record about the deal:

“He’s very excited to be back with Lou (Lamoriello) and the Devils. It’s a great opportunity for Cam with Pierre being traded earlier in the day.”

Whether he’s been in the National Hockey League, the American Hockey League, or the Ontario Hockey League, Janssen has always been a man who’s known his role. No one is ever going to mistake Janssen for a valuable offensive hockey player. The man comes to drop bombs, entertain the crowd, stick up for his teammates, and challenge opponents to fights on Twitter. Let’s put it this way: in 260 NHL games, he has 10 points and 675 penalty minutes.

A player doesn’t rack up those kinds of numbers by obstructing and interfering. This is what he does:

It’s interesting that Janssen would replace Letourneau-Leblond as the Devils enforcer since the two will be forever linked in one of the longest fights in recent memory. Janssen will act as the nuclear deterrent on New Jersey’s bench next season. Opponents may think twice about going after Ilya Kovalchuk or Zach Parise if they have to answer to Cam Janssen afterwards.

After all, it’s hard to imagine anyone would want to go toe-to-toe with this guy more than once.