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At least Brendan Shanahan has Gary Bettman’s support

Apr 18, 2012, 11:05 AM EDT

Gary Bettman Getty Images

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in the house for last night’s Game 3 between Phoenix and Chicago. Bettman was there front and center to see yet another ugly playoff incident in the playoffs, this one involving Raffi Torres crushing Marian Hossa with a textbook violation of Rule 48.

With Bettman in attendance, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune had the chance to speak with the commissioner and ask him his thoughts on how Brendan Shanahan is handling his job as the VP of Player Safety. Bettman offered up a rather zen-like reply.

“I tell him as long as you do what you think is right, the process will be fine.”

Doing what Shanahan thinks is right doesn’t seem to be working out too well considering the criticism he’s heard for the fine he levied on Nashville’s Shea Weber, the one-game suspension given to Ottawa’s Matt Carkner, as well as his explanation of why Pittsburgh’s James Neal received a one-game suspension for his hit on Claude Giroux but nothing for his equally dangerous hit on Sean Couturier.

Perhaps Bettman is happy to have someone else to take the heat for his decisions along with him. After all, misery loves company and Bettman’s gotten enough grief through his career to Eeyore feel good about his lot in life.

  1. solador78 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    “Quick, pile on the games everyone else should have received and maybe they won’t notice!”

  2. raoool - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Bettman is a weasel who sleeps better at night with his puppet Shanahan on hand to serve as scapegoat for when Weber or Neal or Torres or Hagelin or Asham turns someone into a vegetable – or actually kills someone.

    Get the impression he’s almost giddy inside with all this free press about inconsistent ‘discipline’.

  3. polegojim - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Do they need to refine from a few bad decisions? Absolutely, all three noted by Joe were blown.

    Big picture and Overall… Bettman and Shanahan have improved the game.

    But… the next step is steeper discipline.
    1) Hit the pocket of the HC and TEAM when a player is fined… charge the HC and TEAM double the player fine each. The games is about money and if ‘right’ won’t change behavior, money typically will.
    2) Publish an escalating penalty policy – $2,500 is a joke for anything. If it doesn’t TRULY hurt, it won’t help.
    3) If an opponent puts down a player like Hossa, then the offending team’s points leader is out until the injured player returns, PLUS the offending player and WITHOUT pay for the offending player.

  4. pens5829 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    The two-headed moron.

  5. feva4theflava - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Shanny gets way more flack then deserved. Have mistakes been made? Absolutely, but ALL these instances are subjective and he can never please everyone. I think fans get too emotionally attached. Before shanny was around there were always questionable hits and there were barely any suspensions. I love how fans either love him or hate him depending if the call goes against their team or not.

    • wingsdjy - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      Read these boards. The hate for Shanny crosses home-team allegiances.

  6. michiganhockey11 - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    ““I tell him as long as you do what you think is right, the process will be fine.””

    I didn’t know the process was throwing a dart blind at balloons that are sharpie’d with “Fine$, 1,2, or 3”.

  7. hockeyflow33 - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Not sure if anyone watches or listens to the show he does with EJ Hradek but he actually comes off as likeable on the show and it seems like he genuinely cares about the sport.

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