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The Big Question: How would you grade Brendan Shanahan’s job performance?

Dec 12, 2011, 3:18 PM EDT

Brendan Shanahan Getty Images

The Big Question will be a weekly feature on PHT where we ask a question, provide some background and ask you, the reader, to weigh in with your opinions.

Today’s question: How would you grade Brendan Shanahan’s job performance?

NHL disciplinarian is a tough job, something Brendan Shanahan is discovering after enjoying a brief honeymoon in the position. No longer is everyone patting him on the back for his “tough on crime” approach or for making videos that clearly explain the decision-making process. There aren’t many, if any, teams that have yet to disagree with a Shanahan ruling that either suspended a player or didn’t.

Mostly the complaints have focused on Shanahan’s consistency, or lack thereof. If this guy got this many games, why did this guy get that many games? Watch this video, now watch this one. How’s that play any different from that one?

Shanahan knows he can’t please everyone all the time, but is he pleasing enough people most of the time to deem his performance a success?

For what it’s worth, I’ve only taken issue with a handful of his verdicts.

First was letting Wojtek Wolski off the hook for hitting Daniel Alfredsson in the head. I thought Wolski did that intentionally.

Second was the Milan LucicRyan Miller incident. While I don’t think Lucic deserved to be suspended for running over Miller, I disagreed with Shanahan’s conclusion that Lucic couldn’t have avoided the collision.

Finally, I thought Jordin Tootoo’s two-game suspension for running over Miller was harsh. Not that Shanahan didn’t warn players there’d be a “heightened sensitivity to the well-being” of goalies after the Lucic-Miller incident, but a major penalty was sufficient in my view.

Feel free to disagree. Those are just my takes. Yours might be different. Which is why Shanahan’s job is so tough. There are so many variables to each incident, and with each variable there’s an opportunity for people to have conflicting opinions.

Given the difficulty of the job, I’d give Shanahan a B-plus for his performance to date. How ‘bout you?

  1. trbowman - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:25 PM


  2. haterzgonahate - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    one word. inconsistent. but what do you expect? guy probably hasn’t had a good nights sleep since the season started

  3. pastabelly - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    A – Concussions are way down. The criticism in relation to the good he has done is petty. Great job.

  4. bcisleman - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Overall I would give him an INC. That’s not a reflection on him, but on the enormity of the task he faces. He inherited a huge mess because the last guy in his job was an absolute waste of space. He is making things better–they could hardly be any worse than what Coli made them.

  5. blkeskimo1785 - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:19 PM


    He set the tone with a lot of Shanabans during the preseason, but some suspensions (or lack thereof) have been questionable…Lapierre’s hit on Ryan Wilson should have been at least a fine, but it is what it is…it’s an upgrade over Colin Campbell though.

  6. polegojim - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    ‘A’ so far.

    He’s sent a good message and has been as consistent as anyone possibly can. Nobody will be perfect at ‘The Job’, but he’s as good as it’s EVER going to get.

    The players have to respect his history and understanding of the game. If they don’t, then they deserve what they get.

  7. michiganhockey11 - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    He completely missed the haymaker that Malkin threw at Giroux last week. He gave Leino a game for sticking his wing out on purpose and grazing a guy in the head. Malkin’s punch was so blatant, it looked like Paul Bunyan trying to slap his ox on the @ss.

    Good job so far but inconsistent.

  8. imleftcoast - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    B. I like the videos and transparency, but Lucic should have gotten the two games. I am fed up with the league making it up on the next incident. Plus the Bruins suck balls.

    • michiganhockey11 - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:51 PM

      To that Reggie Dunlop replied, “All I can get”.

    • imleftcoast - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:26 PM

      After the $2,500 fine for Marchand, this goes to a C-.

  9. vshehane - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    C+ Inconsistent. I expect it will improve over time. Tired up make up calls (Tootoo for Lucic in particular)

  10. bcjim - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    Someone tell him to shave. He has a real job now.

    • barkar942 - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:49 PM

      He is up late watching the west coast games, so he sleeps in mornings and he has no time to shave!
      My grading isn’t a letter grade, my grading is on how tough this job really is.
      He has the kahunas to take on the biggest “Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t” job in the NHL.
      For that alone, he gets a 100 % as of this point.
      I applaud him for trying to get unnecessary cheap shots out of the game.
      For this he receives another 100%.
      If Shannahan hadn’t taken this position, people would still griping that the league does nothing to stop this stuff.
      Now he has the position, and people still gripe.
      The gripers get a big fat ZERO!
      Hopefully what will really come out of this is fewer players having their careers ended prematurely because other players now will play with just a little more respect for one another.
      Seems like Matt Cooke seems to have gotten the message this year.
      Who knew he could even play hockey!

  11. aksnowman - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    I’m going with others and saying a B just because of his inconsistency. Just glad I don’t have that job.

  12. buffalomafia - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    B-! When your getting paid millions to play a kids game then some players like Ryan Miller shouldn’t cry when he gets hit when he leaves the crease! When Tootoo hit Miller Tootoo was pushed into him!

    Miller should worry about trying not to get burnt up high cause he is always on his knees! Just saying….

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