Mark Fistric gets three games for launching into Niederreiter


Mark Fistric will get three games at home to think about leaving his feet to hit Nino Niederreiter.

Brendan Shanahan handed down a three-game suspension to Fistric for his hit that knocked Niederreiter out of the game with a concussion.

The main debate about Fistric’s hit was whether or not he left his feet to deliver the blow, and in Shanahan’s explanation of the suspension he concludes that he does just that. Shanahan also says that Niederreiter’s concussion played into how severely Fistric was punished, as was Fistric’s history in which he’s been fined for previous offenses.

You can debate easily as to whether or not you think Fistric left his feet to make the hit, but the only thing we’re sure of now is that Niklas Kronwall had better be careful when looking to crush an opponent in open ice.

As for Shanahan’s explanation of the hit, here you go:

Shanabanned: Andre Deveaux gets three games

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The watchful eye of Brendan Shanahan has come away finding Rangers forward Andre Deveaux guilty of a brutal elbowing violation that will see him suspended for three games.

Deveaux sitting out the next three games means that the Rangers will be going without his overly physical presence on the fourth line and likely seeing one of either Carl Hagelin or John Mitchell take his spot there. Both players were called up yesterday from the AHL.

The suspension for Deveaux falls in line with just about everything that Shanahan is trying to eliminate from the game. Needless elbow to the head going through open ice with direct contact to the head. Yeah, that’ll get you a banning.

Paging Shanahan: Deveaux delivers ugly hit to Fleischmann’s head


NHL disciplinarian may have had a brief respite earlier this month, but the league’s players are doing their best to ensure his job security lately. In the latest reviewable offense, Rangers forward Andre Deveaux delivered a headshot to Florida’s dynamic forward Tomas Fleischmann during Florida’s 2-1 victory over New York.

Deveaux received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for an intentional hit to the head. Meanwhile, Tomas Fleischmann went to the locker room and missed the entire five-minute power play, but returned before the second period ended. The most important thing is that Fleischmann looks like he may have escaped serious injury: but it originally looked like it could be much worse.

It wasn’t just the dirty play, but it was unfortunate that Deveaux decided to deck Fleischmann. He had just set up a beautiful goal earlier in the second period when he deked around Artem Anisimov and dished the puck to a loaded Kris Versteeg. No surprise there: the Versteeg/Fleischmann/Weiss line has been one of the best trios in the entire league this season. No one every wants to see an injury—and the league has had enough of their highly skilled players laid out by “lesser” talented players.

After the game, Rangers coach John Tortorella didn’t have much to add: “It’s not up to me. It’s a penalty. It’s not up to me what happens from there.”

No, it’s up to Brendan Shanahan. Principle point of contact was the head? Check. Elbow to the head? Check. Suspension? Pending. Deveaux might be out for a while. Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments.

Stewart “expected” Shanahan suspension


St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart spoke to reporters today for the first time since being suspended for hitting Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall. Stewart, who will miss St. Louis’ next three games, addressed the media after today’s morning skate. (From

“When in doubt, you probably shouldn’t do it when you see his numbers to you,” Stewart said. “There’s definitely a gray area there. I was obviously hoping for no suspension, but I kind of expected it. I’ve seen a couple replays. It looked pretty bad.

“I’m probably going to think twice the next time I see a guy’s numbers to me.”

Stewart’s teammate, David Backes, also spoke with reporters about the hit. After initially tip-toeing around the idea of Stewart getting suspended — “[Stewart] has never been suspended before, never had a hearing before. Kronwall looks injured on the play, but he comes back,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch — Backes sounded much more accepting of the decision.

“It’s those kinds of hits that he said as a League we’re going to have taken out,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s a guy on our team that’s the recipient of a suspension. I think he’s [Shanahan’s] been relatively consistent throughout the season on hits that are into the boards or hits from the backside.”

For what it’s worth, the Blues have been unfailingly polite regarding this situation. (As a Canadian, I notice these things. We revere politeness.) Stewart and Backes were almost complimentary of Shanahan’s handling and decision-making while Blues GM Doug Armstrong issued a statement on the team’s website, saying “we respect the decision by Brendan and the National Hockey League as they continue to enforce the safety of all players during our games.”

Stewart suspended three games for Kronwall hit


NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan has suspended St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart three games for his hit on Detroit’s Nicklas Kronwall last night. The incident occurred at 11:14 of the first period of St. Louis’ 2-1 win:

The decision to suspend Stewart didn’t surprise many. Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard said afterward that “it’s one of those plays at the beginning of the year they told us they’re going to be sticklers on,” while Dan Cleary added “it’s a dangerous play that far from the boards.”

Even Stewart’s teammate, David Backes, had a hard time claiming the hit shouldn’t be suspended.

“I don’t know. You look at the criteria put forth. [Stewart] has never been suspended before, never had a hearing before. Kronwall looks injured on the play, but he comes back,” he told Dan O’Neil of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Is it an ugly hit? Yeah, it’s not pretty.”

In a statement on the team website, St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong said “we respect the decision by Brendan and the National Hockey League as they continue to enforce the safety of all players during our games.”

When discussing the hit with Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch, Armstrong added, “It’s a situation that we accept and we move on with. But I just want to be 100 percent crystal clear that our support for the type of player Stewart is hasn’t wavered. He’s a very honest, hard player. This is a hockey play that went awry.”

Stewart will miss games Nov. 17 vs. Florida, Nov. 19 at Minnesota and Nov. 22 vs. Los Angeles. He will be eligible to return Nov. 23 at Pittsburgh.