Brendan Shanahan and the cases of Matt Cooke and Zac Rinaldo

2 Comments

Lots of articles about Brendan Shanahan today. Here’s one from The Globe and Mail. Here’s another from USA Today. Ditto for Puck Daddy.

If you don’t have time to read all of them, the NHL’s rookie disciplinarian is reportedly pleased with how things have gone during his first season in the position, though he admits he’s made some mistakes (no, he didn’t go into specifics).

Shanahan mentioned two players by name as evidence his message is getting through. The first has been called the dirtiest in the NHL.

“Matt Cooke and I had a conversation at the start of the year, and for the most part it’s held true,” said Shanahan. “If he’s coming up on a hit, and he thinks it’s 50/50 [as far as legality], he knows he’s not going to throw that hit.”

The second?

“Philadelphia told me about Zac Rinaldo,” said Shanahan. “He’s a really big hitter. Hits hard. But they said to him that if you see 20 hits a game in your head, pick the best three. That’s enough to be a physical, intimidating player in this League. When I hear coaching like that, that’s when I’m thinking there’s full buy-in there.”

The Rinaldo comment is perhaps the most interesting, as it’s rare you hear a team telling a fourth-liner to pass up hits. Most of the time it’s, “You play six minutes a night. Hit everything that moves and don’t turn the puck over.”