Shanahan Fumbles Explanation of Lucic’s Suspension


Milan Lucic was forced to sit out Monday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens because of a boarding penalty and game misconduct he received in the Bruins previous game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Lucic hit Flyers center Zac Rinaldo from behind in the game and was immediately ejected from the game.

On Monday morning, Lucic had a conference call with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan to discuss the incident and Shanahan decided to suspend Lucic for a game. I have no problem with that. Lucic’s hit was bad and he has a history of walking a tight line between playing hard and dirty. What I have an issue with is Shanahan’s explanation for the suspension:

While this hit is not particularly egregious, it is illegal. However, the overriding factor in elevating this hit from behind from a penalty on the ice to a suspension is his history of similar infractions, warnings and a fine. We’ve taken into account that Rinaldo suffered no apparent injury as a result of this hit.

 Emphasis is mine.

Why does Rinaldo’s injury, or lack there of, matter? It doesn’t change Lucic’s hit. It doesn’t change Lucic’s intentions. Whether or not Rinaldo is hurt should not have any affect on Shanahan’s decision. Yet, he says the exact opposite. Continue reading “Shanahan Fumbles Explanation of Lucic’s Suspension”

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2008 NHL Draft and Off Season

A slower day in sports today so I want to look back at the NHL Draft and look ahead to the off season. I consider myself an NHL fan (a Boston Bruin fan to be precise), but I cannot say that I followed the draft very closely. I can tell you that the Tampa Bay Lightning chose center Steven Stamkos number one and that the Bruins drafted center Joe Colborne number 16. I can tell you that after Stamkos, the next four players chosen were all defense man and that 12 defense man were chosen in the first round. I can tell you that the tallest player taken in the first round was Tyler Myers by the Buffalo Sabres (12th pick).

If you want me to start analyzing individual picks, don’t get your hopes up. Most players in this draft will not be in the NHL for years to come, whether they are going to college or playing overseas. However, the top picks in the draft will look to make a difference next year. Stamkos will make the Lightning better immediately and the four defense man chosen after that should all have impacts on their respective teams next year.  Almost none of the playerstaken after the top five will see NHL ice time next year. With that in mind, it is extremely difficult to grade teams in the draft. Not just are most players not ready for the NHL and will spend a couple years getting better, but it is tough for NHL general managers to predict their respective team’s needs years in advance. So I am sticking away from grading each teams. I can barely grade my beloved Bruins. I have mixed feelings over picking Colborne. He is a talented player with great upside, but from what I’ve read, he may be too soft for the NHL. I guess Bruins management (and their fans) are hoping his time at Denver University will toughen him up. Continue reading “2008 NHL Draft and Off Season”