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Heavy Shanahan hand: Bouchard suspended two games

Oct 9, 2011, 6:45 PM EDT

Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Rostislav Klesla AP

In a somewhat surprising move, the NHL decided to suspend Pierre-Marc Bouchard two games for high-sticking Matt Calvert, according to Nick Kypreos. The Minnesota Wild were adamant that it was an unfortunate accident, while the Columbus Blue Jackets thought there was a clear intent to injure.

This suspension will keep Bouchard out of two Wild road games: at the New York Islanders (Oct. 10) and against the Ottawa Senators (Oct. 11). The NHL reveals that Bouchard will forfeit $44,108.10 for the missed time.

Minor quibbles aside, Brendan Shanahan is bringing some sense of order to the NHL’s discipline system. They can’t all be gold records, though, so consider this Shanny’s “Dirty Work.”

Honestly, I thought that the referees handled the situation properly by calling it a double-minor. That mistake put his team in an immediate bind and was a pretty severe in-game penalty for Bouchard. In many cases, suspension-worthy incidents don’t hurt the offending team in the moment, yet Bouchard’s was one of those exceptions. A minor fine would have been OK with me just to reinforce the need to be careful with one’s stick, but a two-game Shanaban seems a little excessive.

Michael Russo captures Bouchard’s argument, which apparently fell on deaf ears. How do you feel about the decision? Here’s the best video I’ve seen of the incident so far; we’ll provide Shanahan’s video explanation (likely with clearer footage) whenever it becomes available.

  1. 1wildfan1 - Oct 9, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    Apparently Shanahan is an imbecile. Anyone who cant see the guy hit Bouchards stick into his face himself is an idiot, Shanahan included

  2. katyhockeymom - Oct 9, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    I like Shanahan and what he’s doing for the NHL but this is a bad call. Calvert got his stick under Bouchard’s and lifted it into his own face. Bouchard would NEVER intentionally hit someone in the face. The double minor was understandable; accident or not, a player is responsible for his own stick and what it does, and Calvert did bleed an awful lot. But a suspension is undeserved here. Bad call, Shanny.

  3. bluesrawesome - Oct 9, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    From what I saw it looked like Calvert took a small shot at Bouchard and Bouchard decided to hit him really hard in the face.

  4. 1wildfan1 - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Katyhockeymom, I totally agree. I thought Shanahan was doing a pretty dang good job…until now. He is supposed to take malice and intent to injure out of the game. There was neither here, plain & simple

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