Saturday, March 2, 2013
Shanahan should explain why/why not a player is suspended or fined
If the REFS don't suck, this guy will...
In his season and a third on the job as the NHL's doyen of discipline, Brendan Shanahan has set a new and commendable standard for transparency by explaining to the hockey world why this guy or that guy deserves to sit out a few games for an on-ice transgression. The next step might be for him to explain why sometimes players don't deserve a suspension.
Let's take the case of Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty, who always seems to be in the news for something unusual. Pacioretty eluded a fine or suspension on Sunday for his Saturday night boarding of defenseman Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers. It was a game in which the Canadiens -- who are playing the way the Rangers did last season -- continued their unlikely rise from worst to first in the Eastern Conference, but that's another story.
Pacioretty has already endured an appendectomy, a skate laceration to his side, and an alleged bite from Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski (video) this season. Of course, he was also on the receiving end of one of the NHL's most intensely debated hits, the vicious run taken at him by Boston's Zdeno Chara in 2011, and was deservedly suspended for a head check to Kris Letang last season. Obviously, Pacioretty is magnetized for controversy.