The NHL’s new league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan is already looking at getting his first test of how he’s going to rule in his new job. While his predecessor Colin Campbell ruled inconsistently, Shanahan will have a heck of a first trial to clean up the league.
During last night’s preseason game between Philadelphia and Toronto, Flyers enforcer Jody Shelley recklessly hit Maple Leafs forward Darryl Boyce from behind into the end boards putting Boyce down on the ice and out of the game for a good part of the game before returning. Shelley was then fought and beat up by Leafs enforcer Jay Rosehill in the wake of the hit. You can see video of the hit here on YouTube.
After the game, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette told CSNPhilly.com’s Sarah Baicker what he saw of the play.
“I haven’t had the chance to take it back and look at it again,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “Jody typically tries to play an honest game out there, so I’m not sure where we’ll go from there. The league’s looking at incidents, so the fact that there was a call and a game misconduct, I’m sure it’ll get looked at. But hopefully nothing will happen. He’s a fairly honest player.”
Philly.com’s Sam Carchidi got the Leafs side of things. Darryl Boyce didn’t find the hit to be very legal. Meanwhile, Rosehill spoke well of Shelley in spite of the hit.
“You know, I don’t know him as being a dirty player,” Rosehill said. “I have never played against him where I had to do something like that.”
Obviously he felt he had to do react to the hit.
“The fact is whether it was a dirty hit or not, a guy on my line went down,” Rosehill said. “With our team, guys like that are going to have to answer to somebody.”
Shelley was assessed a five-minute major for boarding and received a game misconduct but most importantly, this his third instance of hitting from behind in just the last couple years as Shelley was suspended twice just last year. Making the timing worse for Shelley is that Shanahan released a video on Wednesday demonstrating new points of emphasis in regards to boarding.
With Shelley’s record from last season with a pair of suspensions for similar plays and now this horribly dangerous hit, reckless play deserves stiff punishment and Shanahan has the opportunity to set the example for the rest of the league that there is indeed a new sheriff in town and he means business.