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Welcome to the age of “heightened sensitivity to the well-being” of NHL goalies

Nov 15, 2011, 6:14 PM EDT

Brendan Shanahan Getty Images

Did Brendan Shanahan get new marching orders at today’s GM meetings when it comes to protecting goalies?

Did you just throw acid in your face to avoid reading another post on this topic?

To answer the first question, it sure sounds like it. Shanahan attended today’s meeting in Toronto and said afterward that everyone “had a really good conversation” about the goalie-safety issue which came to the forefront after Milan Lucic collided with Ryan Miller on Saturday.

Now, in my experience, a “really good conversation” is a nice way of saying, “things got pretty heated.” (For example, “Rick had a really good conversation with his wife after he came back from Vegas without his wedding ring.”)

While I doubt anyone was throwing tables and chairs around, Shanahan clearly heard from parties who thought Lucic got off too easily.

“The general managers expressed to me the importance of all the players on the ice, but also the extreme importance of the goaltender,” said Shanahan.

Shanahan was then asked, if the same Lucic-Miller play were to happen again, would the player in Lucic’s position be suspended?

“I look at each and every play individually,” he said. “All I can say rather than going back and retrying any of my old cases or any cases from previous years, I think that some people in the room felt it should have been a suspension and some people in the room felt that the right decision was made. Regardless, going forward certainly the direction and the conversation of the issue was certainly of a heightened sensitivity to the well-being of our goaltenders. As I’ve said many times, I’m not a policy maker, I’m a policy enforcer.”

Sounds like a yes to me. Otherwise Shanahan would have just said no, Lucic still wouldn’t be suspended. Instead, he said, “I’m not a policy maker, I’m a policy enforcer.”

So let’s put this in our pocket for the next time a goalie skates out of his crease and gets run over. Just because Lucic got off the hook with a minor penalty doesn’t mean the next guy will.

  1. bigbear42 - Nov 15, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    Who is the short dude with the Bieber haircut in that picture you keep using for Shanny?

    • Jason Brough - Nov 15, 2011 at 6:57 PM

      Pretty sure it’s Bieber.

  2. whatswellydoing - Nov 15, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    Anyone else think there should be some consideration on how far the goalie is out of his net?

    • pastabelly - Nov 15, 2011 at 10:01 PM

      Miller was at the freaking face off circle. Protect goalies in the crease and near it. But he’s just another player when he goes all the way out to the faceoff circle. If that were a defenseman that Lucic hit, nobody would be saying a thing.

      • cshearing - Nov 16, 2011 at 8:33 AM

        Goalies are not just another player out of the crease. The rulebook is very explicit on that. If you want the rulebook to be changed to make goalies even less protected than they are now…good luck with that.

  3. killerpgh - Nov 15, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    I think There already is a rule like that. Patrick Roy got a penalty years ago stickhandling a puck across the red line.

  4. killerpgh - Nov 15, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    If he hit a defenseman like that it would still be a charging penalty. The fact that hit a goalie that every player in the NHL knows is off limits make it that much more of a cheap shot.

  5. botlecap - Nov 16, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    looks like the league wants to penalize a team for getting in behind a defense. it’s just stupid. now tampa doesn’t need to play a 1-3-1, it can be a 2-3-0 or a 1-4-0 and they can have garon and rollie deal with the dump ins without worrying about them getting clocked.

    i’m very curious what they would call if a goalie comes out of the net and levels a player on a break away… 10 m and 1 game for the forward?

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