‘He is the right man for the job’: Quintal named NHL discipline czar

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After serving in an interim role last season, Stephane Quintal has been named the NHL’s senior vice president of player safety.

“Stephane Quintal has been dedicated to the mission of the Department of Player Safety since its creation for the opening of the 2011-12 season and has demonstrated over the last several months that he is uniquely suited to lead the department going forward,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “Brendan Shanahan established and built a highly-functioning and well-run department in his three years at its helm.

“Among his most important decisions was hiring Stephane Quintal to be part of his supervisory team.”

Quintal, 45, had been serving in the head player safety role on an interim basis since April, when Shanahan left to become the President of the Toronto Maple Leafs. As Bettman mentioned in his statement, Quintal had previously been part of Shanahan’s disciplinary team in a managerial role, a job he took in 2011.

“Tasked with running the department last spring during the most intensely-competitive and closely-scrutinized part of our season – the final regular-season weekend and the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs – Stephane proved that he clearly was up to the challenge,” Bettman said. “I am confident that he is the right man for the job.”

Quintal handed down three suspensions during last year’s postseason — two games to Brandon Bollig for boarding Keith Ballard, three games to Brent Seabrook for charging David Backes and seven games to Matt Cooke for kneeing Tyson Barrie.

Prior to joining the league office, Quintal was a 16-year NHL veteran that recorded 243 points (63 goals, 180 assists) and 1,320 penalty minutes in 1,037 regular-season games with Boston, St. Louis, Winnipeg, Montreal, New York Rangers and Chicago from 1988-89 through 2003-04. Of course, he’s probably best known as the last Montreal Canadien to wear No. 5 before the club retired it in honor of Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion.