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Jody Shelley could be facing suspension after brutal hit from behind on Darryl Boyce

Sep 22, 2011, 1:27 AM EST

Jody Shelley Getty Images

The NHL’s new league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan is already looking at getting his first test of how he’s going to rule in his new job. While his predecessor Colin Campbell ruled inconsistently, Shanahan will have a heck of a first trial to clean up the league.

During last night’s preseason game between Philadelphia and Toronto, Flyers enforcer Jody Shelley recklessly hit Maple Leafs forward Darryl Boyce from behind into the end boards putting Boyce down on the ice and out of the game for a good part of the game before returning. Shelley was then fought and beat up by Leafs enforcer Jay Rosehill in the wake of the hit. You can see video of the hit here on YouTube.

After the game, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette told CSNPhilly.com’s Sarah Baicker what he saw of the play.

“I haven’t had the chance to take it back and look at it again,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “Jody typically tries to play an honest game out there, so I’m not sure where we’ll go from there. The league’s looking at incidents, so the fact that there was a call and a game misconduct, I’m sure it’ll get looked at. But hopefully nothing will happen. He’s a fairly honest player.”

Philly.com’s Sam Carchidi got the Leafs side of things. Darryl Boyce didn’t find the hit to be very legal. Meanwhile, Rosehill spoke well of Shelley in spite of the hit.

“You know, I don’t know him as being a dirty player,” Rosehill said. “I have never played against him where I had to do something like that.”

Obviously he felt he had to do react to the hit.

“The fact is whether it was a dirty hit or not, a guy on my line went down,” Rosehill said. “With our team, guys like that are going to have to answer to somebody.”

Shelley was assessed a five-minute major for boarding and received a game misconduct but most importantly, this his third instance of hitting from behind in just the last couple years as Shelley was suspended twice just last year. Making the timing worse for Shelley is that Shanahan released a video on Wednesday demonstrating new points of emphasis in regards to boarding.

With Shelley’s record from last season with a pair of suspensions for similar plays and now this horribly dangerous hit, reckless play deserves stiff punishment and Shanahan has the opportunity to set the example for the rest of the league that there is indeed a new sheriff in town and he means business.

  1. tommytd - Sep 22, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    I hope he nails Shelley big time.

  2. paul621 - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Unless they plan to suspend for all boarding penalties, I don’t see how he gets one here.

  3. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    I don’t know what he was thinking. I never like the signing and hopefully this is the writing on the wall for Shelly and the Flyers to part ways. They should keep Rinaldo or Read. Even Sestito is more appealing than Shelly.

  4. hystoracle - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    If you can read their name on the back of the Jersey – Don’t hit them!

  5. mgp1219 - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Typical Flyers. How about Laviolettes comment “He’s a fairly honest player”? FAIRLY honest. That says it all.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:29 PM

      Every team has @ least one dude who acts dumb from time to time.

  6. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Anything less than 15-20 regular season games is a joke. The guy had his back turned and was nowhere near the puck. It was the kind of viscous hit the NHL needs to get out of the game so a hefty suspension is definitely in order

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:45 PM

      15-20 games? If players like Cooke don’t get suspend for worse actions, why would the NHL do the same to Shelly? It was a dirty hit. But it wasn’t like he annihilated the dude.

    • citizenkaen - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:52 PM

      Yes, Boyce had his back turned but he most definitely had the puck just a second before Shelley nailed him, so it’s not like Shelley’s hit was late as the announcers mistakenly called it. The hit was most definitely brutal and dangerous (as are the majority of boarding calls) and worthy of a suspension, but 15-20 games? That’s overkill. I’d say 6 games, maybe 7.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:37 PM

        It may be overkill based on the precedent set by the ever incompetent Colin Campbell, but Shanahan has a chance to send the message that this kind of crap will not be tolerated on his watch. Shelley is a repeat offender who dished out a despicable hit and I think Shanahan should throw the book at him. It would send a strong message to the rest of the league before the start of the season

  7. citizenkaen - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    You want what could add up to a quarter-season suspension for a fairly typical (albeit dangerous and stupid, plus dirty) boarding call….and in the same breath call Colin Campbell incompetent? A huge reason behind calling Campbell incompetent was the fact that he handed out punishment so arbitrarily, without any sort of rhyme or reason. If Shanahan hands down such an extreme suspension, even for a repeat offender, he runs the risk of falling into the same cycle Campbell did. There has to be a logical progression of punishment. He has several questions to consider.

    How severe was the hit? (Minor factor, how injured was the player hit?)
    How illegal was the hit? (Was it a late hit? Was it boarding? etc. The more rules broken, the longer/more severe the punishment.)
    Does the player who gave the hit have any prior suspensions?
    Should I count previous seasons’ suspensions, or only disciplinary action taken this season?
    How many prior suspensions should count? (One season, all seasons?)
    If I count prior suspensions, how many times has he been suspended?
    How long was each suspension for?
    What was each suspension for?
    How far apart were these suspensions?

    All of these questions need to be considered and a pattern needs to be set in order for Shanahan to be taken seriously, and for NHL players to take the rules seriously. To suspend Shelley for (essentially) a quarter of a season based on a typical boarding call is ludicrous- he would then have to suspend every player for boarding for a quarter season if they had any prior suspensions in order to achieve the consistency desired.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:26 PM

      How severe was the hit? – irrelevant; injury should never be used to determine the length of a suspension
      How illegal was the hit? – it was a late hit from behind
      Does the player who gave the hit have any prior suspensions? – yes, for similar dirty hits
      Should I count previous seasons’ suspensions, or only disciplinary action taken this season? – you always count previous suspensions no matter when they occurred
      How many prior suspensions should count? – any and all of them
      If I count prior suspensions, how many times has he been suspended? – having a hard time finding this, it’s at least once or twice
      How long was each suspension for? – too little
      What was each suspension for? – similar hits from behind into the boards
      How far apart were these suspensions? – irrelevant

      Given this is Shanahan’s first opportunity to assert himself I think it would have been perfectly justified to set a precedent: dirty hits will not be tolerated and if you throw dirty hits you’re going to sit. That kind of strong message would definitely have an effect on players around the league. I have no problem with severely suspending any repeat offenders for dangerous hits like this, boarding is a completely unnecessary part of the game

      This was not simple boarding. This was a guy taking a late run at a completely defenseless player and slamming his head into the glass as a result. That is a dangerous and despicable play, not simply a boarding penalty as you suggest. Given he did get 10 games I’d say Shanahan is on the right track

      • citizenkaen - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:52 PM

        How severe was the hit? – irrelevant; injury should never be used to determine the length of a suspension
        – By severity of the hit, I meant did he push the player or was it a full body hit? Did he push the player’s head into glass?
        How illegal was the hit? – it was a late hit from behind
        – It was a hit from behind, yes, but it was not a late hit, it was a follow-through.
        Does the player who gave the hit have any prior suspensions? – yes, for similar dirty hits
        -Agreed. Keep in mind, these are the questions that should be asked for ANY suspension or disciplinary action.
        Should I count previous seasons’ suspensions, or only disciplinary action taken this season? – you always count previous suspensions no matter when they occurred.
        -It’s a question to keep in mind- it’s a new director here, his decisions can differ.
        How many prior suspensions should count? – any and all of them
        -I agree, but it’s a question to consider.
        If I count prior suspensions, how many times has he been suspended? – having a hard time finding this, it’s at least once or twice.
        -Again, a question that would apply to all cases. And in Shelley’s case he had at least two prior suspensions, 2 games each, less than a month apart.
        How long was each suspension for? – too little
        What was each suspension for? – similar hits from behind into the boards
        -No argument here.
        How far apart were these suspensions? – irrelevant
        -Not irrelevant. What if he had two suspensions, but they were 13 years apart? Obviously, the discipline will be less severe, given that his incidents are few and far between. But two suspensions less than a month apart? Bit more glaring wouldn’t you say?

        Given this is Shanahan’s first opportunity to assert himself I think it would have been perfectly justified to set a precedent: dirty hits will not be tolerated and if you throw dirty hits you’re going to sit. That kind of strong message would definitely have an effect on players around the league. I have no problem with severely suspending any repeat offenders for dangerous hits like this, boarding is a completely unnecessary part of the game.

        This was not simple boarding. This was a guy taking a late run at a completely defenseless player and slamming his head into the glass as a result. That is a dangerous and despicable play, not simply a boarding penalty as you suggest. Given he did get 10 games I’d say Shanahan is on the right track

        ____________________________________________________________________________

        Once again, this was not a late hit- Boyce had barely passed the puck before Shelley nailed him- it was a follow-through, not a late hit. And all boarding is dangerous and reckless; Shelley’s was no worse than your average boarding hit. And if Shanahan had given the amount of games you suggested, it would be overkill. The message sent would be that Shanahan is irrational and too eager to pass out punishment for a standard boarding call, just like Campbell. I agree that 10 games is a good amount. Not too severe.

        Good discussion though.

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