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Video: Brendan Shanahan explains reasoning behind Brendan Smith suspension

Sep 30, 2011, 1:41 PM EDT

Brendan Shanahan Getty Images

Brendan Shanahan’s decision to suspend Detroit’s Brendan Smith for the rest of the preseason and five regular season games for connecting with Chicago forward Ben Smith‘s head wasn’t a surprising one given how he’s ruled in other cases this preseason. When it comes to shots to the head, however, under the previous regime and Colin Campbell, sometimes the explanations would leave us scratching our heads.

This time around, however, Shanahan makes it crystal clear as to why Brendan Smith is getting smacked down with a tough suspension. Shanahan’s video explaining the suspension has him making it clear that Brendan could’ve thrown the body and hit Ben Smith shoulder to shoulder because Ben’s head never moved. Instead, Brendan went shoulder to head knocking Ben unconscious. Transparency and accountability from the league’s front office is a wonderful thing to see. Here’s Shanahan’s take on the play.

  1. tommytd - Sep 30, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    Good deal. Keep calling ‘em and please stay consistent. Sooner or later the boys will understand the message. You throw an illegal hit to the head…you sit…just that simple. I applaud Shanahan’s actions on these hits.

  2. polegojim - Sep 30, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Disagree with the call, but respect the decision. Shanahan is trying to be consistent.

    My disagreement is saying that the player did not ‘substantially’ alter the position of his head…. at the speed of the game, how do you differentiate that? You don’t, Ben ducked it and got clipped.

    Too bad for Brendan, he’s a victim of the NHL’s crack down on truly illegal hits.

    That said, keep up the good work Mr. Shanahan and I hope Ben recovers quickly.

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