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Shanahan’s first playoff disciplinary hearing will be with Byron Bitz

Apr 12, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT

The NHL’s rookie discipline czar has scheduled his first disciplinary hearing of the playoffs.

On Thursday, Brendan Shanahan will speak with Vancouver Canucks forward Byron Bitz regarding the hit Bitz laid on Los Angeles’ Kyle Clifford during the Kings’ 4-2 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinal:

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Bitz was given a five minute boarding major on the play and a game misconduct. Clifford left the contest and didn’t return, and the Kings later announced he’d suffered an upper body injury. (Early speculation was a possible concussion — Clifford looked woozy trying to leave the ice.)

It’ll be interesting to see how Shanahan handles what could be his first postseason suspension.

Last year, there were three suspensions issued in the opening round of the playoffs — Jarret Stoll got one game for boarding Ian White, Bobby Ryan got two games for stomping Jonathan Blum and Jarkko Ruutu got a game for a late hit on Martin Erat.

Earlier this year, Shanahan had this to say regarding suspensions in the postseason:

“I can attest to this as a player, if you ask me if I’d rather have a four-game suspension in November than a one-game suspension in the playoffs, I’d take the four-game suspension in November,” Shanahan told ESPN’s Craig Custance. “If you think about it, that one game in the finals is the equivalent of a 12-game suspension. … I don’t feel we’re in the punishment business, we’re in the changing player behavior business. You do that by getting a player’s attention.”

Of note, Bitz has never been suspended or fined by the NHL.

  1. cableguymike - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    No history? $2500 fine!

    Seriously, though. Should be 1 game. Bad hit and Bitz new it right away.

    • wingsdjy - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      Oh, I see what you did there

  2. dmacirish - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    curious as what will happen here. It was a bad hit, not horrible, but it was in the course of a hockey play. Weber’s was not, you know the whole smashing-the-face-into-the-boards thing wasnt much of a hockey play and he only got the $2,500 fine.

    • sabatimus - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:55 PM

      It was a blindside headshot on a defenseless player. Precisely what the league purports to want to remove from the game.

      • dmacirish - Apr 12, 2012 at 4:59 PM

        if you read what i had written – i agree it was a bad hit. the topic of discussion was how shanny was going to handle this and i am merely pointing out it may be hard to guess based on the immediate history of the rulings.

    • nobandwagoners - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:55 PM

      Bitz probably deserves a suspension. Using Shanahan’s playoff vs. regular season game approach, one game is likely.

      That said, Weber’s WWE wrestling move of ramming Zeterberg’s head into the glass like it was a turnbuckle really should also have drawn a suspension. I mean, taking a guy’s by your hand and ramming it into the glass b/c you’re mad at the guy – well, that’s not even a borderline hockey play. And it happens after play is dead. I mean, Shanny, really?

      • sabatimus - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        Yeah, the Weber thing makes me mad because it further proves Shanny’s inconsistency.

  3. cweez2 - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Shanny, you set a nasty precedent with the vicious finger wagging you gave Weber

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    That’s bad, mmkay?

  5. havok82 - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    I would think it would be a fine when you compare it to what Weber did, but who knows? I hate the Canucks, so the more punishment the better, but if he is suspended I would be surprised.

  6. sabatimus - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Figures that Canucks fans would be crying BS when the hit was completely flagrant and deserves suspension.

    • jdubs21 - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

      I’m a Canucks fan and when I saw the cheap shot hit from Bitz, I instantly said he’s gonna get suspended. No need for that in hockey, on whatever team someone plays for.

      • sabatimus - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        Glad to hear it. I was actually referring to the crowd who saw it live in person. They probably didn’t get a replay to see what actually happened clearly. I hope they changed their minds when they got home that night and checked the video.

    • habsman - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      I don’t think there is any doubt that this hit deserves a suspension (one game). The issue is, how can Shanahan possibly suspend Bitz when he did not suspend Webber?

      This is the slippery slope Shanahan is starting down. If he had suspended Webber, he would have no problem justifying a suspension to Bitz.

      A suspend-able hit in the regular season should be a suspend-able hit in the playoffs. Put the onus on the players for their actions.

    • kitshky - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      Ya because Canucks have the only fans that while at the rink react in an irrational biased manner in the heat of a moment … grow up ya moron.

      I have yet to hear one Canuck fan defend Bitz, how could you it was blatant stupid hit? The only thing that’s being pointed out is Shanahan’s disregard for players safety and his now predictable inconsistency.

  7. basherdesigns - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Hmm… Weber $2,500.. John Tortorella $20,000.. if my NHL Shanahan calculations are right.. Bitz $200…. see you in game 2.

  8. haterzgonahate - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    that $2500 fine to Weber really puts the spotlight on this… whatever way you look at it, Bitz delivered a bad check but it was still a hockey play.. what Weber did has no place hockey yet he gets a slap on the wrist. i dont get it Shanny.. anything more than $2500 to Bitz and Canucks fans have every right to be up in arms!

  9. kitshky - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    They really do need to stand up to the NHLPA and get the minimum fine raised so its at least somewhat relevant, at this point it’s a non issue in these guys lives. Like they’re literally not getting punished at all.

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