Thursday, 25 August 2011

Vigilante Justice?

You'll probably see a lot of this guy from a perch in an NHL arena. No, not Will Arnett, although having him involved with the NHL could be very entertaining. Instead, Brendan Shanahan will assume his role as NHL disciplinarian now that his on-ice laboratory time is done for this off-season. Shanahan will probably blend in to the background like his is in this photograph, but I'm hoping he'll be front and center the first time someone decides to take matters into his own hands when it comes to exacting justice. He played the game, he was suspended by the game, and now he'll have a chance to hand out a little time-off for those who break the rules.

I'm hoping we'll see a few things instituted by Shanahan when the season kicks off. Call this an unofficial set of guidelines more than rules, but Shanahan could make things very interesting if he just gets creative early on.

  • The "Matt Cooke" - automatic 10-game suspension for anyone dishing out elbows to the head. Despite being a Hall-of-Famer and a Red Wings legend, Shanahan retroactively suspends Gordie Howe for six seasons from 1973 to 1979. The NHL does nothing as they note that all stats from the WHA are already forgotten.
  • The "Ulf Samuelsson" - automatic 15-game suspension for deliberate knee-on-knee checks. While Ulf Samuelsson is already retired and coaching Modo of the Swedish Elite League, Shanahan sends Philip Samuelsson a note that upon his debut in the NHL, he will sit for his father's knee-on-knee check on Cam Neely in 1991. Shanahan goes on record saying, "I don't care which Samuelsson on the Penguins did it, there's no place in the game for that."
  • The "Gregory Campbell" - two-game suspension. Because his dad, Colin Campbell, suspended Shanahan for two games in 1999, there's nothing wrong with a little this-for-that as Shanahan randomly picks two games where Gregory Campbell is suspended. Appeals by the Campbell family sent to "" go unanswered.
  • The "Sean Avery" - six-game suspension. Any player found committing "conduct detrimental to the league or the game of hockey" is given a six-game break. Examples include dress code violations, unauthorized personal space violations, and any appearances in future Revenge of the Nerds movies.
  • The "Todd Bertuzzi" - twenty-game suspension. While Shanahan certainly doesn't want to see anyone get seriously hurt like Steve Moore was, Shanahan does not want to see grown men crying. Ever. Mark Messier is given a lifetime ban by Shanahan to "send a message".
Ok, so those are just a few of the tongue-in-cheek ideas I have to help kick off Shanahan's new role in the NHL offices. Personally, there is nothing wrong with handing out a few suspensions to send messages, especially to those players who are repeat offenders year in and year out. I'd like to see Shanahan absolutely devastate the NHLPA with a massive suspension for a deliberate head-check, but we'll see how far he pushes the envelope.

I do know this, though: in Shanny, I trust.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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