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Caps’ Erskine disagrees with Shanahan’s “reckless elbow” remark

Feb 4, 2013, 1:55 PM EDT

Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine is displeased with Brendan Shanahan’s classification and punishment of his hit on Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds.

The NHL discipline czar suspended Erskine three games for what was deemed a “reckless elbow” — one that knocked Simmonds from Friday’s game and gave the Flyers forward a concussion.

“I don’t think it was a reckless play or a reckless elbow,” Erskine told the Washington Times. “I wasn’t flying down the ice a hundred miles an hour with my elbow up in the air.

“That’s what [Shanahan] called it, and I gotta live with it.”

Here’s Shanahan’s video explanation of the hit (and suspension):

Shanahan did make note in the video that Erskine doesn’t have a history of dangerous plays and wasn’t a repeat offender, something Erskine thought should’ve played more of a role in the decision.

“I’m going on my 11th year and I haven’t been suspended,” he said. “I’ve been fined once, I think. I thought that would come into a factor more, but Shanahan did what he had to do and I gotta accept it.”

Erskine also added he wasn’t happy with the three-game suspension, and that he texted an apology to Simmonds over the weekend.

  1. xflyersx - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Hey dummy, you hit him square in the nose with your elbow

  2. hockeyissweet - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    guys an idiot. hes right tho, it wasn’t “a reckless elbow” it was intentional, and he didn’t “fly down the at 100 mph with his elbow up” he put it up right before he hit simmonds in the face.

    • jpelle82 - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      yea pretty dumb trying to make excuses…pretty clear even without slo-mo. i’m not defending him, glad he got punished and he deserved it but 3 games is like 7 with a regular schedule though – for a guy who has never been suspended before it seems pretty steep. leino only got 1 game for that flying elbow to read last year and his was more intentional looking than erskine’s.

    • rg3isvictory - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      I’m just glad it was Simmons hurt and not Erskine. Got a feeling the Caps are going to trade some of their young defensive talent, which will make Erskine that much more important this season.

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Feb 5, 2013 at 12:43 AM

        Dude, you must have been elbowed in the head a few times in your life because you sound half retarded. Erskine sucks donkey balls. Only on a team like the caps can Erskine be considered anything remotely “important”.

  3. shutyourfivehole - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Dude, that was like the picture perfect elbowing penalty and you’re lucky you only got three games. Shut up and sit down, you’re just embarrassing yourself.

  4. broadstbully33 - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    His elbow was primed and up way before contact. It was a clear elbow with intent IMO

  5. phillyphanatic77 - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Think we’re happy in Philadelphia that another one of our top forwards is out indefinitely? He’s lucky he only got three games, after the fact. Competent refs would’ve given him a match penalty and a major for that clear elbow.

  6. hockeyissweet - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    that elbow actually concerns me more than usual. if the refs missed THAT blatant elbow to the head, which didn’t even earn a 5 on 4, which was obvious enough for a 3-game suspension (except to caps and pens fans), then what else are they missing? probably a lot.

    • tridecagon - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      Yeah – but there have also been plenty of phantom calls lately (see Backes against Red Wings, for example). The refs are under so much pressure they just seem to be making decisions at random, trying not to get it wrong.

      • hockeyissweet - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:47 PM

        yea true, i watched that blues/wings game. that was as bad a call as the elbow in the opposite way. good point

  7. csilojohnson - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Definitly deserves the suspension. Ugly hit. Looked intentional. 3 games is nothing compared to what Simmonds is in for.
    Pens fan btw. Idiot

  8. hockeyissweet - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    you may agree now, but if that was a pen getting suspended for elbowing a flyer instead of a capital, there’s not a snowballs chance in hell you’d agree.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      What the hell does that even MEAN? Seems like you take your opportunity to call out Caps or Pens fans in every post, without knowing how moronic that makes you seem (I’m sure it’s undeserved).

      This was a blatant elbow, whether Erskine disagrees or not is irrelevant…good call by Shanahan, whether we think it deserved more or less is irrelevant…Caps and Pens fans have no clue what your whiny as* is going on about, if you got your feelings hurt from something in the past, well…irrelevant. Especially to this article and situation.

      • caucasian1975 - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:38 PM

        It should have been a penalty at the time for sure, not like the clean hit by backes. But I can’t help but wonder what pens fans thought of all the times matt cooke head hunted when I see them post. Maybe they were up in arms that he should be suspended, but I somehow doubt it.

  9. banger60 - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    It was a thing of beauty !

    • ibieiniid - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      your brain is made of semen

  10. mattdaddy7 - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    I guess it isn’t reckless if you look right at the guy before throwing your elbow into his face. Be glad you only got 3 games! Your fifteen minutes is officially up!

  11. schapley18 - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Tack on another 2 games Shanny for these asinine comments. A blatant flying elbow to the head, which is exactly what the league is trying to get rid of, and he disagrees. If this was a full season i bet he gets at least 5 games…

  12. stakex - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Erskine both sounds like a complete idiot, and makes a small point all in one statement.

    Hes an idiot for complaining about Shanahan calling it a reckless elbow. He his Simmonds right in the face…. obviously it was a reckless action. Just like when you high stick someone when you try to lift thier stick. Its an accident, but its still a reckless play.

    He does have a point however about his clean record over move then a decade in the NHL. Now I think the 3 game suspension was fine personaly, but there is an argument to be made that its a bit stiff for a vet with a clean record.

  13. barkar942 - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    If you watch this goal by Tarasenko, Wisniewski seemed to attempt a similar “not reckless” elbow, but must have remembered his ten game suspension at the last second. The elbow came up and was locking on target for the chin.

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