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Shanahan: ‘I hate what Ray Emery did’

Nov 5, 2013, 3:11 PM EDT

emerypunching Getty Images

The NHL’s chief disciplinarian didn’t like what Flyers goalie Ray Emery did Friday versus Washington.

In fact, he “hated” it.

But despite his clear disdain for Emery’s actions — specifically, the ones where Emery skated down the ice to attack Capitals goalie Braden Holtby — Brendan Shanahan didn’t feel it was worth a suspension based on the current NHL rulebook and past supplementary discipline rulings.

“I hate what Ray Emery did,” Shanahan said today on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central. “I wouldn’t like it if I were a teammate of his. I wouldn’t like it if I were an opponent of his. And I think, more important, if the rest of the caretakers of our game, the general managers, don’t like it, it’s important for us to say when a rule is not properly addressed in the rulebook. And I don’t think it is.”

Shanahan did reference the one-game suspension he gave to then-Ottawa player Matt Carkner in April of 2012 for being the aggressor in an altercation with an unwilling opponent, Rangers forward Brian Boyle.

The difference? Shanahan felt the Carkner incident was “much worse” than Friday’s incident, and also noted that Carkner had a history. As such, he couldn’t justify a suspension for Emery, even if Emery was clearly guilty of breaking the aggressor rule (see below).

“If you look at the two [incidents] and line them up, it’s not the same,” said Shanahan.

From the NHL’s rulebook:

46.2 Aggressor – The aggressor in an altercation shall be the player who continues to throw punches in an attempt to inflict punishment on his opponent who is in a defenseless position or who is an unwilling combatant.

A player must be deemed the aggressor when he has clearly won the fight but he continues throwing and landing punches in a further attempt to inflict punishment and/or injury on his opponent who is no longer in a position to defend himself.

A player who is deemed to be the aggressor of an altercation shall be assessed a major penalty for fighting and a game misconduct.

A player who is deemed to be the aggressor of an altercation will have this recorded as an aggressor of an altercation for statistical and suspension purposes.

A player who is deemed to be both the instigator and aggressor of an altercation shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting, a ten-minute misconduct (instigator) and a game misconduct penalty (aggressor).

Related: NHL to discuss 10-game suspension for goalie fights, per report

  1. ethanmacleod1685 - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Finally some me and Shanny can agree on

    • upper90cheese - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      Shanny is an idiot. This is a slippery slope. Once rule changes are made, there is no going back. They have told grown men what type of equipment to wear (visors). They took out the red line to increase the speed of the game and created more dangerous situations leading to the headshot hysteria that we have today.

      People say that these type of incidents keep the NHL from becoming more mainstream. Maybe its the fact that nobody understands the rules because they change every 5 minutes or aren’t enforced evenly throughout the league.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:43 PM

        I would add that Shamahan is a complete idiot. He hates what Emery did and we hate how inconsistent and nonsensical he is.

    • 950003cups - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      What Emery did was as ghetto as it gets.

      • babykaby - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:11 AM

        Take away his jersey and give him a hoodie.

  2. esracerx46 - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Carkner was worse. But you have to factor in distance traveled. Carkner was at least close to Boyle. The intent was the same, neither player wanted anything to do with it. Carkner incident was more egregious. But onlyonly slightly.

  3. aventador12 - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Holtby still had the last laugh. Even after what happened, he still had composure to finish the game with a shutout.

    • hockey412 - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      It does make you wonder, though…what if Holtby was concussed by one of those punches to the back of the head while he was down? Would Emery be suspendable then? Or would we still be ok with it?

      • hockey412 - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:00 PM

        And by “we”, I mean Shanahan, Bettman, and the Flyers Organization…I should have clarifiend that.

      • cobra617 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:47 PM

        Those were rabbit punches. Emery used to box, he should know that rabbit punches are strictly forbidden. Hitting the back of the head is EXTREMELY dangerous. Punk move on his part. I used to kickbox years ago (now that I think of it….over 20 years ago, crap I am getting old) and that is one of the first things you learn. You do not punch the back of an opponents head.

  4. stonebullet - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    They’ve never been consistent with supension lengths anyway, so why start now? Just nail him for it and set a new precedent, because if you’re going to go by past suspensions/actions you’re just gauging what to do today based off of all of your inconsistent rulings before.

  5. hockey412 - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    So there’s the aggressor issue and there’s also the intent to injure issue…despite what Shanahan and Bettman are saying, it really sounds like there was plenty of room to suspend him. They should at least require that Emery plays in net the next time they face Washington. Goalie is not a fun position when the other team is angry with you.

    • greenmtnboy31 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:44 PM

      I’m thinking a few wayward slapshots up toward his head ought to get his attention.

  6. ewoods6 - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Why on earth didn’t the refs stop this fight when it was clear Holtby could no longer defend himself?? You know, the same way they do for EVERY other fight they see in the NHL. The biggests ones at fault for the Emery incident is the refs.

    That fight should have been stopeed loooooong before it got to the point it did. But yet, just another example of the continued scum that rolls through Philly on a regular basis.

    • beezskis - Nov 6, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      The referee’s name was François St Laurent.

  7. steverolley - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    No there doesn’t need to be a rule change.

    Watch the video and the ref was standing right there allowing it to happen. He even pushes players back so Emery can land a couple more punches to the back of Holtby’s head. If everyone with any hockey sense hated what they saw then why would a NHL ref allow it to happen right in front of him?

    Maybe for once hold a ref accountable for letting a situation get out of control

    • jdny - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      Referees don’t break up fights. That’s the job of the linesman.

      Goalies aren’t supposed to fight… that’s everyone else’s job.

      Emery now has “a record” and any further incidents will be met with appropriate action. The only thing that would have been true justice in this incident would have been a serious injury to Emery (like a broken hand). The only message that was sent is what a joke the Flyers franchise has become.

    • babykaby - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:17 AM

      That ref could have pushed Emery back way before he even got close to Holtby. Supposedly refs are supposed to observe what is happening so they can make the correct call for penalties, so if he was watching he had to see Emery coming all the way down the ice. He could have stopped Emery way before he even got to the other side of the ice.

  8. tapefolie - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    So freakin childish……I’ll keep saying it, fighting in any professional sport degrades the sport and has the feel of the WWF or a bad Jerry Springer show.

    • mcphillthy - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:50 PM

      Take your vagina somewhere else. Fighting is a part of hockey. If you don’t like it then watch golf

      • lneighbors - Nov 6, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        What did the caveman say to the vagina?

  9. sjsharks66 - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Is the Emery situation not as bad because Holtby tried to skate away instead of just lay on the ice?

  10. blackandorangeforlife - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Emery should have received at least 2 games and the Rules do indeed allow for it…..This is just the inconsistency rearing it’s ugly head again…..Sad thing is if the Caps retaliate in the future they will be the ones to pay a price……Emery should have one coming to him without cost to the Caps!

  11. polegojim - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Emery made himself appear to be the turd floating in the ice bowl.

    What a crap move. I’d be ashamed as a team mate.

  12. iplaygoalie - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Then do something about it Shanahan…get a rule instituted to prevent it. If goalies are to fight (which happens so rare taking it out would be BS) unless they both skate to center the goalie who crosses the center line should be suspended. Don’t automatically suspend a goalie 10 games for fighting like has been discussed or rumored. Seriously, It’s so far between and when it happens it’s entertaining as hell! Goalies are players just like the guys on the ice and if they only get 5 for fighting so should a goalie. 5 for fighting and a game misconduct is plenty for 2 willing combatants. Willing combatants can be defined as 2 goalies meeting at the center line to do a little dance. Just my 2 pennies.

  13. holeecowman - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    hey shanny you were no prince so stfu all hockey fans know you hate everything orange and black and your precious little red wings do no wrong lol red wings named after a bloody kitty that gets licked If I were to ever cross paths with you I would ask for autograph them throat punch you wipe my a$$ with the autograph then shove it done your throat so get the sand out of your vag man up if you don’t like fights then watch horse racing. also I bet half the ppl complaining about it are big boxing fans too. NOW I DO NOT CONDONE WHAT EMERY DID.

    • upper90cheese - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:56 AM

      What he said

  14. storminator16 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Why can’t the NHL (and everyone else) blame the official for letting Holtby get those knuckle sandwiches?

    Also, Rick Vaive says you are a hypocrite, Shannahan. Rofl.

  15. hockeyflow33 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    I find the saddest part to be Holtby allowing himself to be made into a punching bag and only throwing a feeble, rag-armed blocker punch

  16. killerpgh - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    So Sean Avery can get suspended for 6 games for asking publicly why other NHL players like his sloppy seconds, but Emery admits publicly that he attack an unwilling opponent and there is nothing they can do. Sometimes It looks like the NHL can trip over it’s own feet. Hopefully the NHL/GMs just adjust the aggressor rule and make it subject to supplemental discipline instead to doing something so stupid like a 10 game suspension for goalies who fight. The problem with Emery/Holby wasn’t that they were goalies. It was the fact that it was willing hockey player vs unwilling hockey players.

  17. greenmtnboy31 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    The longer Bettman and idiots like Shanahan leave their mark on the NHL, the less of a fan I find myself becoming. They, particularly Bettman, are ruining the game that used to be the greatest sport going.

  18. george1859 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Hypocrite. Shanny is a joke.
    If you hate it, suspend that thug. If that happened on the street, Emery would be in jail.

  19. winger58 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Shanahan is a monkey on Bettman’s string. There is no way that Carkner’s incident is “worse” than Emery’s. My God, Emery skated the length of the rink to engage the other goalie and hit Holtby many more times than Carkner hit Boyle. With people like Bettman and Shanahan, the NHL just keeps sinking further down the hole.

  20. goodellisruiningtheleague - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    The city of Brotherly love

  21. cspsrbums - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Right Holtby was still in the position to protect himself. He was on his knees being rabbit punched in the back of the head that wast trying to inflict damage. Shanny your an idiot .

  22. cspsrbums - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    @hockeyflow 33 dude Holtby still had his blocker pads and glove on the blocker I believe straps to his are. That’s why he couldn’t really throw any punches not that it would of helped

  23. flyersfan85 - Nov 5, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    I hate hate it.. Shanny hates it and yet.. no one can do non-story.

  24. patthehockeyfan - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    Maybe Shanahan should use Google:

    28.7 Participating in the Play Over the Center Red Line – If a goalkeeper participates in the play in any manner (intentionally plays the puck or checks an opponent) when he is beyond the center red line, a minor penalty shall be imposed upon him. The position of the puck is the determining factor for the application of this rule.

  25. storminator16 - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    -The instigator rule is in place to handle what Emery did. The consequences is to still wail the guy, take the two minutes, and he has two more chances to wail on guys before he gets suspended. So I can’t find fault there.
    -The official didn’t control the situation. I find fault there.
    -The Capitals didn’t help their boy out. I find fault there.
    -Judgemental fans and NHL personnel wouldn’t have had this problem if you insert Patrick Kaleta or Adam McQuaid instead of Holtby.

    That last point is the kicker. Many of you who have so much objection to this wouldn’t have had a problem if this was Kaleta. You won’t admit it but you know it is true. Of course, those of you who call Emery a “thug”, you probably have some bigotry in your heart and you surely won’t admit that. In my years of following sports, hockey fans have to be the most bigoted by far. Your cultural “preferences” shines through & through for many of you. I’ve been disappointed from day 1 when I had to endure the backlash from the European invasion in the early ’90s.

    The rules of engagement has changed since ’93-94. Holtby did what Emery said and protected himself, at least for a little while. Sure, Emery should have stopped wailing on the guy but I’m sure he was super charged up and had to get that heat of his hands. Someone should have stopped that if Emery wasn’t. All of you just need to stop being weak pansies about this. If you want to complain about an incident from every game, go watch another sports. Fans like me and I’m guessing most Flyers fans were thoroughly entertained.

    Thank you, Ray Emery, for being old school in these days of the pansy figure skating/dump the puck/hypocrit heads of “player safety” NHL.

    • patthehockeyfan - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:45 AM

      Ah, where to begin, storm?

      First, stop accusing those who have commented here of bigotry. Emery’s color had and has nothing to do with the fact that he was wrong.

      Second, you can find fault with the official not controlling the situation; but, it wasn’t the job of the referee to stop the fight. It’s the linesmen’s job, and they were busy breaking up the other fights on the ice at the time. I would have liked to see the ref stop the fight; but, it is what it is.

      Third, defending what Emery did, i.e., “… he was super charged up … ” is unconscionable. He was a thug beating up on a guy who clearly did not want to fight. A thug. Period.

      Fourth, if you and your other Flyer fans want to be thoroughly entertained by fighting, go to a boxing or wrestling match.

      Finally, if the Flyers can’t win games and fighting is what turns you on, I suggest that you are not really a hockey fan; rather, you’re the weak pansy.

  26. bigx21 - Nov 6, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    I hated when Shanny did the same to the Avs particular on my man Patrick Roy!! Screw u Shanny, you suck as a player and will always suck with your new disciplinary job!!

  27. vic29weller - Nov 7, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    I think Mr. Shanahan has been fair and consistent in his disciplinary actions until the Ray Emery incident. Emery’s action of leaving the crease and pounding Braden Holtby, who never attempted to fight back, is despicable. Even though Holby clearly did not want to fight, Emery repeatedly punched Holtby in the head. Emery was heard to say, “you better defend yourself” per news reports.

    I saw the fight between Matt Carkner and Brian Boyle that resulted in Matt Carkner being issued a 1 game suspension by Mr. Shanahan. The situation with Ray Emery is worse. He pounded on Holtby who never returned a punch because he didn’t fight and continued to do so even though Holtby clearly was trying to get away from him. The fact that Emery is a former amateur boxer makes this situation even worse. Emery deserved disciplinary action.

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