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Marchand has phone hearing with Shanahan on Monday

Jan 8, 2012, 1:56 PM EDT


Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports Bruins forward Brad Marchand will have a telephone hearing with NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan tomorrow to discuss his hit on Vancouver’s Sami Salo. The hit — whistled as clipping, though commonly referred to as “low-bridging” — earned Marchand a five-minute major and game misconduct and left Salo with a concussion, according to the Canucks.

The method in which Shanahan and Marchand will converse is key, as telephone hearings can only result in suspensions of five games or less. Anything longer than five games requires an in-person meeting, unless the player waives the right to a face-to-face.

If you’re wondering what Marchand’s explanation will be, consider what he told the Globe after watching replays of the hit.

“I did go under him,” he said. “But I felt the base contact was about his hip point. That’s usually a pretty legal hit from what I’ve seen in the past. I have no idea how the league feels about it. I guess we’ll see.”

Marchand’s disciplinary history won’t help his cause. He’s in the repeat offender category after being suspended two games for hitting Columbus’ RJ Umberger in the head last year; this year, Marchand was fined $2,500 for slew-footing Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen. Given how sternly Shanahan’s come down on other repeat offenders this year (Andy Sutton, Dan Carcillo, Rene Bourque), things aren’t boding well for ol’ Nose Face.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 8, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    I think in this case the 5 and a game should suffice. Shanahan just needs to tell Marchand to cut the crap and if he doesn’t he’s going to start sitting.

    • loinstache - Jan 8, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      An illegal play that sees the perpetrator kicked out and the victim suffering a concussion? Exactly how does someone get a suspension in your rulebook?

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 8, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        You said it yourself, Marchand was kicked out. If we determine how suspendable hits are based on resulting injuries then every player who gets popped will suddenly have a concussion the next day. Then we end up with an on-ice product that makes soccer look like rugby.

        You get a suspension for a play that was overly malicious, like head shots and checks from behind, regardless of whether or not you cause an injury. This was not a malicious play. It was a chicken-shit move to avoid a hit which rightfully got Marchand ejected. It should be left at that.

    • loinstache - Jan 8, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      That’s a ridiculous slippery slope fallacy, especially considering the player of question is injured. And it seems you are really underestimating the danger of clipping. It is NOT merely avoiding a check, it’s a move used to take out the knees and invert the player. How is that not malicious?

      I can understand a controversy if it was a quick play where Marchand was already low, Salo didn’t get hurt or whatever. Again though, we have
      a) a repeat offender, delivering
      b) an illegal hit much maligned by the league and players to
      c) a player that suffered a concussion.

      The injury shouldn’t decide the consequences in all cases, but ignoring its context is downright foolish.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        It’s not overly malicious because, contrary to your belief, he was avoiding a hit as evidenced by the fact he ducks at the last possible second. It’s dirty but not malicious as there’s no intent to injure. He didn’t line Salo up from half way across the ice with the purpose of taking out his knees and concussing him.

        However, you’re right about the fact Marchand’s repeat offender status will weigh into the decision. Even so, he shouldn’t get more than a game or two and he probably won’t given 5 is the max.

    • elvispocomo - Jan 8, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      You don’t think that’s what he told him after the first and second infractions mentioned above? That’s three times overall, and twice while Shanny’s been in power. I’m just upset they don’t have the option for more since it seems they’ve at least decided it’s not worth more than 5.

    • imleftcoast - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      I think you mean five games, unless you’re dimwit from Boston.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:23 PM

        No, but I’m not a spineless West coast “hockey fan” either.

    • elvispocomo - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      mrmojo, you bring up a couple of other points about it not being malicious or intent to injure or he was avoiding contact, as well as ‘he was already kicked out’ so it should be just time served – all of which is incorrect.

      Let’s start with the time served. If he had gotten a 2min minor but then was judged afterward to have been worth a one game suspension, that would have been a fairly equal scenario to a 5min major and game misconduct but no suspension. If his actions are worth more than a one game suspension without any other penalty, then he should get at least get a game off to equal that in addition to his major and misconduct (but I think realistically it’ll be more like 2 or 3 even if I’d prefer the full 5 since it’s not the first time he’s lowbridged a player without the puck).

      As far as avoiding contact/not being malicious/no intent to injure, that’s a load of crap as well. Marchand is well aware of what might happen if he chop blocks a player coming towards him without the puck as a defensive reaction to a possible (legal) hit. It doesn’t let him off the hook that he didn’t travel half way a cross the ice, or that it wasn’t premeditated, or that it wasn’t the more common headshot/hit from behind scenario the league has been suspending players for so far.

      The league is focusing on those types of hits but what they’re really trying to do is raise the awareness level of players to the point where they are considering what will happen if they do stupid things. That includes hitting a guy in a defenseless position, or not taking care to avoid the head when leading with your shoulder, but also includes any act that could reasonably result in injury – particularly if it isn’t a hockey play. Just because it isn’t the more common type of play that results in a suspension or have any precendence, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be suspendable.

      Nevermind your ‘scenario’ of hockey being similar to soccer looking more like rugby, when the opposite would be true considering your analogy. People fake injuries in soccer, not rugby, and even if you see a guy get some magic water and keep going in rugby he hasn’t been writhing on the ground to try and get a call. Hockey has seen some diving (we saw some yesterday as well, just not by Salo) to try and get calls, but if hockey was closer to rugby in that mentality, you wouldn’t be complaining. But that is a reaction to the refereeing in hockey and soccer, versus the refereeing in rugby.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 8, 2012 at 6:10 PM

        If you actually think this hit is no different than a guy running someone from halfway across the ice then I’m not sure what I can say to change your mind, but they are vastly different.

        I think you missed the analogy. It was meant to say that hockey would become so soft and have so many players faking injuries that it would make soccer, currently the world’s softest sport, look like the one of world’s toughest. And yes, that is a gross exaggeration.

      • elvispocomo - Jan 8, 2012 at 11:07 PM

        I never said they weren’t different, what I did say was both acts are equally irresponsible.

        And I think everyone got the analogy after I helped explain it, since you’d worded it so poorly. There’s no way soccer will ever be the middle ground between hockey and rugby as far as “pansification’ or diving, but if you feel you have to over-exaggerate because your point is so weak, I’ll give you that.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 8, 2012 at 11:36 PM

        No, I think I worded it fine. Maybe it just went right over your head and you’re making excuses for why that happened. Suggesting more players will fake injuries if suspensions are based on resulting injuries may be something you disagree with but that doesn’t automatically make it weak point. In fact, insulting the strength of the other person’s point in an argument without offering anything more substantial is a much weaker move.

        That being said, I’ll let you offer something better than a not-so-subtle jab. Why do you believe basing suspensions on resulting injuries won’t lead to more diving and faked injuries?

  2. swizzler16 - Jan 8, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    5 games. Shanahan not risking a meeting in person, so that marchand won’t get a chance to slewfoot him.

  3. numbcracker2109 - Jan 8, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    I don’t remember the Canucks getting at all upset when Raffi Torres tried to kill Seabrook last year. These kind of hits won’t stop until all fans can get past their allegiances and call it like it is. I’m a bruins fan and that hit wasn’t cool. Now Vancouver fans should say that Burrows actions aren’t cool either. It’s not hard.

    • imleftcoast - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      Wasn’t even a suspension.

    • elvispocomo - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      That hit by Torres was at least a play I would make in his place. Player coming around the net, puck right there and me coming the other way? I’d hit the guy. Granted, I’d try and stay low and hopefully the timing is that he’s touched the puck, but that’s a hockey play. Marchand going to play the puck and then lowbridging a player coming in to check him is not.

      There’s two points to remember here: Salo didn’t have the puck as Marchand was closest and a hipcheck is lead with the hip, not the shoulder.

      Salo was coming in to make a hit (and might I mention I don’t think I’ve ever seen Salo throw a big hit in his life) on Marchand who was going to play the puck. Sometimes we see players do a blowback in that situation, where they plant their feet and put their shoulder back into the chest or shoulder of the player behind them – and I’d be fine with that. Instead, Marchand faked like he would play the puck up the boards and not only ducked, but drove into Salo’s knees.

      That’s as close to a chop block as you’ll ever see in hockey.

      A hip check is when you’re skating backwards and have a player with the puck coming towards you. You then angle your skates towards the boards to cut into them hip first and it’s primarily your lower body that makes contact, not your upper body. It can be done as an open ice hit as well but is much harder. Clipping can happen during a hipcheck too, but if you don’t bend your knees too much (or at least straighten them coming into contact) you’re never going to get lower than the thighs of anyone except maybe Chara.

      I can see people’s argument (and have seen it often since yesterday on the Bruins forum at HFBoards) that Hamhuis and Ballard do the same thing. If you consider that, then consider the points that make up Marchand’s case, I don’t think you can honestly say they are the same thing.

      Just because a player is bent at the waist while making a hit and the person being hit goes over top of them doesn’t make them comparable.

  4. freefinger - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    The way I see it it’s pretty easy to determine what Shanahan will do.. 1. While being a repeat ofender, you have to look at last year’s elbow hit to the head. It was obvious, the whole NHL community saw, the refs saw it, the players saw it the whole Columbus coaching and Upper level representatives saw it so .. they gave him a slap on the wrist since it was way to obvious, 2 games.

    Now, if he still made the hit but in a “Sorry didn’t see you there!” fashion the ‘ol Black and Yellow Jersey would’ve made him walk without a suspension. Daddy Campbell’s way of doing things.

    As far as we have seen this year, the slewfooting incident he got squat! 2,500$ fine?? Come on! Even reporters say he should’ve got at least a match!

    2,500$ he dropped 5 times that amount in one night after the cup.. The lowest salary in the league is 500K$, those fines are as if Mr-Mrs anybody would get a 2.50$ fine for going 90mph in a 30mph zone.

    Shanahan wason a mission at the start of the season, finally had someone with enough B*lls to actually give out severe suspensions to idiots on the ice!

    Unfortunatly I think he got called into Mr Buttman’s office and got talked to because they might’ve thought that he went a little overboard on the suspensions and might have a little reminder about the Bruins… Don’t suspend them! Look at the suspension board this year, all hit from behind 4,2,7,3 games suspensions.. Then you have Lucic, one dirty player that never got suspended (Bruins shirt on) he get 1 game.. Wow..

    Last year Marchand got 2 games for the elbow, while everyone else got 3 or more… 4 min when it’s straight to the head without hesitation, he basically blindsided hit from behind Umberger, GOT 2 GAMES! Listen to this Boston announcer “from behind a little bit… ” guess “a little” bit seems to be defined as the actual back portion of your body.

    So if you look at the suspension, he did the elbow, the head and the blinside. He should’ve gotten 5 games for that one!

    If he doesn’t get at least 5 this time around, Shanahan will show how deep he is with the NHL Board’s head honcho Mr Bruins Owner himself.

    Last year’s cup should have an asterix on it to show how Daddy Campbell had something to do with it. It’s tainted. They got no suspensions on the dirty hits they did in the final.

    To bad Boston fans, but if we got an actual outsider to suspend for malicious hits, half the team would be suspended every 10 games.

    I hope that one team gets the balls to go and sign some ridiculous goon out there to come in and let him go at it on Lucic, Marchand, Chara, and get Bergeron to show Julien how it works. “You wanna play like sh*t, you wanna hit from behind, you wanna take out our best players.. No problem, but be prepared to have some of your own medecine”.

    Cant wait to see his big nose broken sideways and him skate-crying to the dressing room!

  5. blomfeld - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Shanahan = Violence

    About the only thing missing on Brendan Shanahan is a pair of wings, as apart from that he’s essentially the Disney Tinker Bell … has anyone else noticed how the level of cheap-shot violence has increased “exponentially” ever since this fairy assumed his role as the so-called “disciplinary” csar ? … the bottom line is that Shanahan is “weak” and is therefore “not” feared and therefore “not” respected … Marchand might get 2 games at the most, even though I personally think the 5 minute penalty was enough as that gave the Canucks the game yesterday … until Shanahan is replaced by someone with real teeth and backbone, then I see this problem of cheap-shot violence only getting worse and worse …

  6. demons87 - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Dan Hamhuis hit from Game one of the Finals. Not only not penalized but celebrated on all the highlight shows. Which is it, great hot or suspendable offense?

    • elvispocomo - Jan 8, 2012 at 4:22 PM

      Well, if you read my above reply, you’ll see that hip hip check like Hamhuis’ and Marchand’s lowbridge aren’t comparable.

      One, Lucic had played the puck.

      Two, Hamhuis makes contact to the thighs of Lucic.

      Sure, Marchand’s contact isn’t completely knees but it’s a lot of that. And Marchand goes from standing straight up to ducking all the way down to that level where Hamhuis is in a low position well ahead of him even moving to hit Lucic. Nevermind that Lucic was carrying the puck and tried to go outside Hamhuis, so might expect a hipcheck – especially from a player who likes to use them. I guess Salo should have expected Marchand to lowbridge him as well, since Marchand did the same thing in the SCF to one of the Sedins (clearly a vicious player with history of taking heads off, just like Salo) who was coming towards him without the puck.

    • warpstonebc - Jan 8, 2012 at 6:35 PM

      There’s a big difference between a hip-check (which is a dying technique because it’s so damn hard to do well) and a bad bridging play (which is an easy cheap shot on the boards).

      A bad hip check can be called clipping because it’s too low, but such a case is a “hit gone bad” rather than a dirty trick that worked: low-bridging. Marchand’s play involves and implicit intent to injure that most full-speed hits don’t involve.

  7. crusty14 - Jan 8, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Your point of hitting a guy in a defenseless position is crap! Salo was coming down on Marchand, and had full view, he should expect Marchand to do something , therefore he is not defenseless. What is Marchand supposed to do? Get wiped out by a much larger opponent? Just stop and give up the puck to salo? There was certainly no intent to injure on that play, especially the concussion aspect.

  8. imleftcoast - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Congrats drew, you now know how the Bruins beat the Canucks in the Finals.

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