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Columnist: Shanahan “choked” with Weber ruling

Apr 12, 2012, 3:17 PM EST

Brendan Shanahan AP

Well, it didn’t take long for Brendan Shanahan to feel the wrath of Steve Rosenbloom, the Chicago Tribune’s renowned outrage enthusiast.

In response to the NHL’s decision to fine, not suspend Shea Weber, after the Predators defenseman punched and shoved Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the boards, Rosenbloom wrote the following:

Weber’s act was exactly the kind of hit that the league has punished significantly this year and last. The league zealously protected its players’ heads, and it was lauded for such vigilance.

Duncan Keith just got five games for a WWE-like flying elbow on Daniel Sedin. Weber’s actions were as blatant as Keith’s, intended to do as much damage, and every bit motivated by revenge, which makes it exponentially indefensible.

This, then, figured to be bad for Weber and the Predators. This, then figured to be major.

But Brendan Shanahan choked.

If there’s no suspension for something as blatant and contrary to league dictates as Weber’s act, then there can be no suspension for anyone the rest of the playoffs.

Given the reaction from numerous members of the media on Twitter, we can probably expect a few more columns like this one.

Though maybe with a little less hyperbole.

  1. nogoodtomedead - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    I agree. Your trying to rid the game of concussions, and you let one star player intentionally beat on the head of another star player? What a joke. 2,500 isn’t even a steep fine- I get that playoffs are important for the NHL product, but if you don’t want to suspend Weber at least send a message with the fine. I thought this play was pretty brutal, at least in its intentions. But I guess the message is that anything goes in the playoffs.

    • hockeywas - Apr 12, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Shanny more than choked on this one, he swallowed!

      He lays down the law all year on shots to the head and does ZERO on a clear INTENT TO INJURE

      The NHL only cares about MONEY and RATINGS not the SAFTEY of its players

    • chibimike - Apr 12, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      How can you say $2500 isn’t steep? That is 1 minute and 40 seconds worth of Webers salary this season. It’s like he took three shifts for free now. That out to change his tiny little mind.

      • hawkish1 - Apr 12, 2012 at 5:59 PM

        It’s like dropping a $50 for a bar tab on Friday night to guys who make millions!

  2. tmoore4075 - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    What I found out today was $2500 is the max fine they can give. I understand you have to have limits and guidelines for fines but $2500? As capgeek.com pointed out, that would be like someone making $50k getting fined $16. Had he been suspended one game, his pay per game (at least over 82 games) is $91k. A little different. The NHL dropped the ball on this one BIG TIME.

  3. upyourstodd - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Even though a suspension was warranted. Shannahan is in a no win situation as it has become clear that he cant please everyone. But c’mon Shanny, Weber’s moral compass/judgement grade was an F on that play.

  4. cowboys282 - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Brendan Shanahan has let every NHL player know that if they want to punch then slam someone’s head into the glass it will only cost you $2,500. Thats not a lot of money to many NHL players.

    This sets a precedent that we will unfortunately see repeated because Mr. Shanahan failed to do his job. Let’s hope another NHL player doesn’t have his career ended because of this.

    • homelanddefense - Apr 12, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      but the problem is someone can do something similar and get suspended for it. Its the inconsistency of the penalties that really angers most people.

  5. sabatimus - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    I didn’t read any hyperbole from Rosenbloom.

    • apatheticpoetics - Apr 12, 2012 at 10:05 PM

      Yeah. Many people use the word “hyperbole” when they read or hear an argument that takes a clear stand on an issue. Rosenbloom used colorful language to describe the Keith hit, but an article would be pretty boring without any descriptive phrases. In his argument that Shanahan failed to meet his own standards, he got it right from thesis to conclusion.

  6. aces1202 - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Shanny: you have to protect the players!! they cannot police themselves with the instigation rule, so start doing your job.
    If a Flyer had done that it would be 5 games minimum you stinkin ex-Ranger.

    • vockeea - Apr 12, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      Regarding your “If a Flyer had done that it would be 5 games minimum you stinkin ex-Ranger.” comment, I would like to play a little devil’s advocate. Shanahan is obviously not trying to play favorites here, as he was employed by the Red Wings for several seasons. I really think his track record shows he hasn’t really played the “favorites” game. This is something that Colin Campbell was accused of many a times, if memory is serving me correctly. Feel free to prove me otherwise, I am just unaware of these issues.

      However, his track record does show that he has been very inconsistent on decisions to suspend players and for the length at which they are suspended. That is the part that really bothers me about this case. I have no idea why or how his decision for not suspending Weber came to this. Like many people have already stated, it looked pretty clear that Weber deserved a game or two. Maybe karma will come back to bit him in the a$$ later on.

    • brian32556 - Apr 12, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      REALLY!? STINKIN’ EX-RANGER! What, he played one good year for us. Typical Philly absurdity. And if a Flyer did something like that, he would deserve more, haha. Go find a dream team.

  7. kwells44 - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    I’ve never understood what the attacked player’s injury or lack of injury has to do with the punishment. Slam the next guy’s head in the glass the exact same way, with the exact same intent, and with bad luck the next guy gets a concussion, so the attack is worse?

    • hsnepts - Apr 12, 2012 at 6:19 PM

      devil’s advocate here…

      If you run a red light, you get a ticket. If you run a red light and kill someone, you go to jail.
      If I try and create a Ponzi scheme, I get a fine. If I successfully execute a Ponzi scheme, I go to jail.
      If I practice surgury while drunk, I get my license revoked. If I do that and kill someone, I go to jail.

      The rest of us live in a world where we are punished for our bad behaviour – but we are ALSO punished for the repercussions/consequenses of our behaviour.

      Its not that attack is worse if the guy gets a concussion – its simply that we have to answer for the consequenses of our actions – not just our actions.

      • michiganhockey11 - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:44 AM

        True, but if you’re intent is to rid the game of those kind of plays, punishing for results won’t do it. You have to punish for intent. That’s how to get the idiotic stuff to stop.

        They need to change the ‘fine standards’ in the CBA. Make it more NFL like. Fine is equal to 5-10% of annual salary. That would nip it in the bud real quick. NHLPA wouldn probably never allow that to happen though…

      • db2b2 - Apr 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

        Given that, he should pay an additional $90 for helmut replacement as Zetterberg’s was cracked eh?

  8. habsman - Apr 12, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Shanahan’s boss is Colin Campbell.

    Need we say more?

  9. elvispocomo - Apr 12, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Shanahan has done a very good job of explaining his decisions this year, especially with the recent sit ins on the NHL Network. There are often times where I react before hearing his explanations that I can’t fathom how he’s come to the results he has, but he’s usually able to provide enough basis to satisfy.

    What I thought of after seeing the replay was how he explained the Marchand clipping suspension to be predatory. Although this was much more immediate reflex, it was similar since he was reacting to a situation and retaliating for it.

    I’d feel better if he let him slide after trying to make a hockey play that went wrong (like Bitz’s hit on Clifford) than an intentional move to put a player’s head into the boards.

  10. cweez2 - Apr 12, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Should’ve been a one-game suspension. If he got hurt – THEN you add more. Same thing you did to Rome last year; take a guy out of the playoffs, he sat out the rest of his. Shanny needs to take his player’s hat off now and not worry about Weber’s feelings as a player. He’s in the office now.

  11. cableguymike - Apr 12, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    So we’ve now established that you can poke check a guy from the bench and grab a guy’s head and slam his face into the glass and in both cases pretty much nothing is going to happen.

    No wonder the NHL is considered a joke when compared to other professional leagues.

  12. tru2joelu4eva - Apr 12, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    people will get pissed, but i’ve said it before and i’lll say it again. this should surprise no one. this is just the kind of spinelessness that we should already have come to expect from the nhl and brendan shanahan. this, AGAIN, is f***ing embarrassing.

    • tru2joelu4eva - Apr 12, 2012 at 5:05 PM

      not to mention that this happened in the first night of the playoffs… come on shanny the whole freakin’ world is watching…

  13. takingbovadasmoney - Apr 12, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Shanahan’s decision goes right in line with the way that game was officiated, very poor.

  14. hawkish1 - Apr 12, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    The penalty should be the same for the act–not the results. If it’s 5 games for that type hit–it should be 5 games for EVERYONE (star or not) regardless of the fact that someone is injured or not! This picking and choosing about who gets suspended and who doesn’t; or who gets 5 games and who gets 3 or 1 is ridiculous. Set the penalty and apply it across the board. If Weber feels like ramming someone’s head into the boards he should know it will be his teams loss of his services for a set number of games. No excuses. You can’t grab someone’s head and ram it into the boards/glass without serious intent to hurt or maim. Apparently it was hard enough to crack his helmet! Come on Shannahan, quit going light on what you consider star power–he’s just as guilty as the next guy.

    Of course, perhaps Bettman has decided to defend his position on teams in lesser, non-traditional hockey markets by ensuring the rules don’t apply to them the same as to teams in the more traditional hockey markets with big fan bases and attendance!

    • brian32556 - Apr 12, 2012 at 6:19 PM

      Agreed. And not just WHO does it, but what the act is. So what the NHL is saying is they’ll only suspend someone IF the person gets hurt – its not the act its the result! WRONG!

  15. hky15 - Apr 12, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    $2,500 fine is the biggest NHL joke in general!

  16. nyrangersfan - Apr 12, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    First I’d like to point out to all the people who say the NHL favors Pittsburgh that, this had nothing to do with the Pens this time and Webber got off easy. Shannahan said this was only a reaction? if you look at the replay Webber goes to push his head the first time and almost missed which made it look like he punched him. Then he made sure he got a nice grip on his head and smashed him. These helmets are made to protect players heads from being smacked against the ice right? Then Webber must have smashed his head pretty damn hard to crack the helmet against the glass. Bad call but oh well what are you going to do right?

  17. apatheticpoetics - Apr 12, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Hyperbole? The only use of rhetorical over-exaggeration in the article is “Duncan’s WWE-like hit”. Any less and…there wouldn’t be any. And it would also be kinda dry. So Rosenbloom otherwise describes exactly what happened and why it merits a suspension.
    We can’t expect to hold Shannahan (and the players) accountable until we accept that plays like this one cause concussions and getting them out of the game entails consistent and equitable discipline.

  18. michiganhockey11 - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    You know you’ve messed up when a Chicago columnist is saying the Detroit got screwed. Blackhawk fans have no love for Detroit.

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