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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.

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