Shanahan suspends Shaw three games for charging Smith…but if Smith was injured, Shaw would’ve been done for the series

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After a lengthy and drawn-out procedure, NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan ruled Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw will be suspended three games for charging Phoenix goalie Mike Smith during Saturday’s 3-2 overtime victory.

First, the video explanation:

Then this, from TSN’s Darren Dreger:

source:

This scenario is sure to draw controversy, given the following:

— After Shaw was given a five-minute charging major and game misconduct, Smith returned to and finished Saturday’s game.

— The suspension was announced roughly six hours prior to Game 3. Shaw practiced with the ‘Hawks this morning.

— Phoenix originally had Smith listed as a game time decision for this evening.

This is the fifth suspension Shanahan’s issued during the opening round of the playoffs, eclipsing last year’s first-round total of three (when Colin Campbell was in charge of discipline.)

It also matches the longest suspension Shanahan has issued this postseason, on par with the three-gamer given to Rangers forward Carl Hagelin for elbowing Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson.