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Suspension verdicts leave Rangers “thoroughly perplexed”

Apr 15, 2012, 10:00 PM EDT

John Tortorella AP

If you hear a hockey fan unnaturally drop the phrase “thoroughly perplexed” into conversation on Monday, blame the New York Rangers. The team won’t appeal Carl Hagelin‘s stiff three-game suspension for elbowing Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, but they did call out Brendan Shanahan & Co. with this terse-yet-amusing statement:

The New York Rangers accept the NHL’s three-game suspension of Carl Hagelin and will not pursue an appeal.  However, we are thoroughly perplexed in the ruling’s inconsistency with other supplementary discipline decisions that have been made throughout this season and during the playoffs.  We will have no further comment on this decision.

Doesn’t that sort of sound like something John Tortorella would say 24 hours after the fact? (Note: the 24-minute version would be unprintable.)

One can deduce that the Rangers are upset with a perceived incongruity between Hagelin’s three-gamer and Matt Carkner‘s single-game suspension for playing the steel drums on Brian Boyle‘s head, yet you could expand the argument further.

Are you thoroughly perplexed by the decisions, too? Moreover, what are some of the other developments of the still-young playoffs that have you scratching you head? Let us know in the comments.

We might just have a new meme on our hands.

  1. riles1008 - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    The hit may have been dirty but I don’t believe the guy was purposeful. He has no track record, and wouldnt have sought out alfies # to apologize. Shea Weber gets a small fine for WWF wrestling zetterbergs head into the boards and Hagelin gets 3 games. I’m not even a Rangers fan but this is nonsense.

    • saintez - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:48 PM

      Weber’s hit looked like kids playing in a sandbox verses ANYHING I have seen since. Know your facts: Weber hadn’t had a major in 2.5 years. Did you see the cheap shot Zett put on him when the game ended? Retaliatory. All of this was taken in to consideration.
      P.S. Anyone know why Zett-lady can’t finish his own fights and why his boyfriend/goon Bertuzzi does?
      Who got the last laugh today? Maybe Weber? Goal plus a win…..

      • wingsdjy - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:11 PM

        It’s laughable when people try to justify Weber’s WWF performance.

  2. jmbates10 - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    I can’t wait to see how the league handles the travesty of that game this afternoon. What a sad commentary on this wonderful game that display happened to be.

    Syd the kid is hardly a choir boy……

    All I think anyones asks for is consistency and for the league to uphold the rules they have put in place. If not, why have rules, let the inmates run the asylum.

  3. ray2013 - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Just a few notable plays – Keith’s 5, Hegelin’s 3, Carkner’s 1 and Weber’s 0 all have me trying to figure out how Shanny comes up with his decisions. Is there a dartboard he uses to determine a punishment?

    Said it today already; there should be standards. A certain play receives a certain suspension. Add more games if there’s a serious injury. Add more games for repeat offenders. Make it clear to everyone playing or watching what is acceptable and what is not.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:21 PM


      His system is probably slightly less sophisticated than this.

  4. tangfan - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    is shanahan making these decisions or nbc

    • alexb64 - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:31 PM

      For one thing NBC just devoted two segments to ripping these rulings to shreds. The other, if NBC is influencing league discipline why would they be putting a team from New York at a disadvantage? It would seem that might be a bad decision if ratings & media coverage is their goal.

  5. fullbagg - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Caps fan here. What a joke. It’s like watching NFL ref Ed Hackuli explain why a fingertip glance of the helmet is a game changing 15 yarder. I watched Backstrom get hit in the face by Sara Palin Thomas, which Caps goalie was charged a 2 minute minor for EXACTLY the same hit, then Backstrom was grabbed in a headlock, held up and cross checked to the ribs. No call… I guess since he isn’t a Penwhine, it’s a go to abuse all. If the NHL is going to be taken seriously as a sport, these HUGE differences in “refereeing” has to stop. Shannahan!?! What a joke!

    • fullbagg - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:29 PM

      Oh yeah! Failed to mention BackStrom was out for months from a concussion….

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:05 AM

      You must have missed his late and unnecessary slash to Thomas’s hand. It’s part of the game where the officials allow in-game policing. Try playing hockey once

      • fullbagg - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:22 AM

        Don’t need to be a cop to know I’m about to get jumped. Don’t need to be a doctor to know I’m sick. Like stated, Holtby was harrassed all game. I get it. That is what should happen to a young player. Thomas is a blowhard hothead. A slash is a whole lot different that:
        1. Blow to the head
        2. Headlock
        3. Crosscheck to the ribs while being lifted up
        4. Oh yeah, our best player out with a concussion for months. Bet that would be tolerated to any of the other top stars of other teams.
        5. Retaliation is normal in all sports. But “in game policing” is what happened in the Flyer Pengwhine game.

        If that is what I have understand after “I play once”, then thats OK. I have 2 eyes and a brain. I know BS when I see it.

  6. rosco666 - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    John Tortorella being perplexed is understandable. His confusion is the result of his one-sided view of a season’s worth of sanctions by the league. It’s just John’s myopic view of life. That’s what he thinks he’s paid to do!

    Interesting that the NYR comment was crafted to begin with some words of humility in order to soften the bite of their outright criticism of Brendan Shanahan’s “inconsistency” that followed their acceptance with ……..”However ……..”.

    Which is it? Do they accept the suspension or do they challenge Shanahan’s year’s worth of rulings? Come on John, you can’t have it both ways in the same sentence!

    Shut up and stop whining! Just do a better job of coaching your team, and they won’t get themselves into situations like this.

    • matthewwemple - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:57 PM

      it’s like Rosasco wrote the first sentence and JT hacked it up from there

  7. matthewwemple - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Anybody find it odd that the ref just puts his hand on his hip while Carkner goes berserk? I understand the protocol but Boyle could have been hurt pretty badly

  8. bensawesomeness - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    There has to be a better way of doing suspensions and other penalties – possibly a vote of GMs? (all it would take is a 30 second email )
    It CANT be about if a guy gets hurt, it just cant, this is ridiculous

  9. habsman - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    What we are seeing in these playoffs is the direct result of Boston winning last years cup while getting away with murder. Shanahan admitted that discipline in the playoffs would be treated differently than the regular season. What a message to send to the players. No wonder teams are “gooning” it up. It worked last year.

    • gallyhatch - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:05 AM

      Normally I try not to respond to posts from whiners like yourself, but in this case I’m making an exception… you’re a joke. The Bruins beat your team fair & square a year ago and you are still crying about it. Get a life.

  10. thehighcountrybear - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Hope Shanahan’s has double locks on his doors…the guy’s lost the plot if he had ever found it; while utterly out of character, it appears Brendan’s become a yes-man for Bettman? The league has always had credibility issues as they relate to the game’s integrity, but Shanahan’s read on discipline has been exposed for the fraud it is, pretty much since the dubious suspension of the sainted Brad Marchand?

  11. biffnasty - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    I hope this is just a joke. Are you effin kidding me Shannahan? 3 games and weber can bash dudes head into the boards intentionally and get a 2500 fine? Insane!

  12. vanfoodman - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    The NHL, always good for a laugh. I can’t believe I just said that, but it may be true. If this kind of stuff happened in baseball there would be a congressional hearing. But in this league, nobody is really surprised by this comedy off errors. Shanahan, Gregson, Campbell and Bettman have all got to go for this league to gain any credibility. I am this close to saying goodbye to a game I have followed for over forty years. The lack of an appropriate response to the Shea Weber incident and the incongruity of the decisions today may be the defining moments in the decline of the NHL, at least in my eyes.

  13. sabatimus - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Dear Shanahan: YOU SUCK AT YOUR JOB. A guy gets ONE GAME for repeatedly PUMMELING a non-combatant who didn’t fight back AT ALL? As much as I hate to admit it, the Rangers are totally right. There isn’t any consistency at all.

  14. mcmurphy22 - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    There is inconsistency no doubt, but the league is saying they want to take out “targeting the head” and this seems like a prime example. I like the suspension, but that’s not to say I at all agree with the other decisions.

  15. somekat - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    If there is any consistency with the rules, Asham will get 3, Neal will get 3, and Adams will get one. We shall see.

    But my guess, this will be another case of coddle the star (Neal) and league pet (Pens/Adams). They will sacrifice Asham, suspend him, and act like that makes up for the dozen cheap shots taken by other guys.

    But if this was done fairly, the Pens would need a whole new line for game 4, and 2 of those guys the rest of the series (if game 4 isn’t the rest of it)

    • wicky888 - Apr 16, 2012 at 7:26 AM

      You are exactly right my friend, the bias, favortism and coddling are blatently obvious and downright ridiculous. The 2012 playoffs are going to look more and more like Slapshot if Shanny doesnt get a handle on this ish.

  16. bbk1000 - Apr 16, 2012 at 6:39 AM

    Different rules for different teams, the NBA, er I mean NHL is at it again.

    If you’re not wearing a Penguins sweater things are different.

  17. wicky888 - Apr 16, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    Whats even more insane amongst all this is that the Pens had 7 power plays to the Flyers 6 …… how the F does that happen?

  18. tangfan - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    maybe that’s because the flyers aren’t the choir boys they want everyone to believe

  19. mojosmagic - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    Both guys should have gotten 3 games.
    It’s the intent not the extent of ones injury or who is involved.

  20. takingbovadasmoney - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    I have been saying it for years. Bettman and his lackies coddle the expansion teams he has added. Weber’s hit was just as bad as Haglein’s. Gotta protect the Nashville ChildPredators top players.

  21. tangfan - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Thomas a blowhard hothead? why because he’s not a liberal puke?

  22. gsilverman1 - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Horrible ruling; inconsistent enforcement of the rules leads to games getting more and more out of control; if Alfredsson isn’t out for as many games as Hagelin is suspended, then it’s truly ridiculous….

  23. travishenryskid - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    I’m not going to complain about the inconsistancy of these rulings, because everyone knows it’s a joke. But to pretend that this kid didn’t deserve to be suspended is also a joke. The NHL needs to throw the book at these guys. This post season has been embarassing for the league with all of the antics. Good luck to the players union in the upcoming labor talks. It’s obvious they have no respect for each other. How are they going to convince the world that there is player solidarity when they are doing so much dumb crap to each other? Play a physical brand of hockey, but they have been crossing the line every single game. Looks terrible.

  24. rockthered1286 - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    I’ll jumped on this once but I”ll put it out there again: Hagelin comes in with his elbow at 90 degrees. As Danny Alfredson rises up, so does Hagelin’s elbow to meet him in the face. There’s your intent. He directed the elbow to the head. While I agree Weber got off way too easy (not sure why exactly) I can definitely say suspension worthy hit for Hagelin.

    That specific instance aside, it almost seems as if Shanny wants to be the focus of the playoffs, not the actual games. The only consistency he has shown his his ability to be consistently inconsistent. I’m waiting for someone to take a 2 handed baseball swing to the head of another guy and get 2 games next.

    There’s a drinking game hidden in all of this somewhere.

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