Brendan Shanahan’s decision to suspend Detroit’s Brendan Smith for the rest of the preseason and five regular season games for connecting with Chicago forward Ben Smith’s head wasn’t a surprising one given how he’s ruled in other cases this preseason. When it comes to shots to the head, however, under the previous regime and Colin Campbell, sometimes the explanations would leave us scratching our heads.
This time around, however, Shanahan makes it crystal clear as to why Brendan Smith is getting smacked down with a tough suspension. Shanahan’s video explaining the suspension has him making it clear that Brendan could’ve thrown the body and hit Ben Smith shoulder to shoulder because Ben’s head never moved. Instead, Brendan went shoulder to head knocking Ben unconscious. Transparency and accountability from the league’s front office is a wonderful thing to see. Here’s Shanahan’s take on the play.