Update: We continue to see the faulty and arbitrary system at work here with the most recent suspensions of Neal, Asham, etc. Lets see what he gives Torres after a devastating and illegal hit that sent Marian Hossa to the hospital.
And most recently Shanahan won't even review Evgeni Malkins hit to Grossman? The bias continues... What CAN'T a superstar on the Pens do?
HELP GET THE WORD OUT!
And you thought the NHL's decision making in supplementary discipline was bad under Colin Campbell? Well, enter Brendan Shanahan. In his first year as SVP for the NHL's Dept. of Player Safety, Shanny and the committee have been at best wildly inconsistent and biased whilst handing down fines and bans for players. What began as a noble endeavor to ensure the safety of players and deter unnecessary violence in the game, under Shanahan has become a circus act that not even Wringling Bro's can match.
In the 2012 playoffs alone the decisions handed down have been questioned not only by fans and writers, but by players, coaches and even franchises themselves. We've consistently seen 'Superstars' get preferential treatment on decisions regarding bans, and the supposed 'repeat offender' rule holds as much weight as a wet tissue.
In the past 7 days alone, Brendan Shanahan has shown us just how inconsistent and arbitrary his disciplinary decisions have been... and picking random decisions out of a hat would, at this point, appear more logical. Let's look at a couple of incidents this week for examples.
First we had Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators violently and purposefully smash Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg's head into the glass repeatedly as if the ice was WWE's Smackdown ring. Weber, a 'repeat offender' was fined $2,500 for his transgressions. Next, we'll move on to the grudge match between the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators, where Matt Carkner, without provocation jumped Brian Boyle, threw him to the ice, dropped his gloves, and proceeded to in upwards of 5 punches into a defenseless Boyle while no retaliation was made. For Carkner's transgressions, premeditated as they were, and with intent to injure, he received a 1 game suspension. Then, in the same game, Carl Hagelin of the Rangers threw a hit on Senator's captain Daniel Alfredsson in which he caught the player high with an elbow. Hagelin, a rookie with no prior history of dirty actions, a player who has never even received a major penalty, was suspended 3 games.
The question here is not whether Hagelin deserved 3 games or not, but the three examples provided show the inconsistency and illogical decision making that have come down from Shanahan. That a player and repeat offender like Weber should be fined just $2,500 for a vicious attack on a players head, or that Carkner should receive a single game suspension for the premeditated and blindside attack on a defenseless Brian Boyle, while Hagelin receives a 3 game ban for an in-the-moment hit gone awry on Alfredsson is beyond rational thought.
It has come to the point where teams have now publicly began weighing in. After receiving news of Hagelin’s suspension, the NY Rangers released the following statement. "The New York Rangers accept the NHL’s three-game suspension of Carl Hagelin and will not pursue an appeal. However, we are thoroughly perplexed in the ruling’s inconsistency with other supplementary discipline decisions that have been made throughout this season and during the playoffs. We will have no further comment on this decision."
The simple truth and purpose of this petition is this: Wholesale changes need to be made in the department of player safety to ensure that fair and justified suspensions and fines are handed down to players regardless of the team they play for or name on the back of their jersey. Additionally, a level of consistency must be maintained when assessing said fines and suspensions.
Shanny was a star on the ice, but the suit doesn't fit him.