Do you really have had to bled on a sweater to mete out discipline in the NHL?

Ken Campbell
David Branch (left). (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Those of you looking for a fresh, new approach to discipline under new director of player safety Stephane Quintal are going to be disappointed. Quintal has made it clear that he has no intention of deviating from his predecessor, Brendan Shanahan, when it comes to filling the role as NHL sheriff and hanging judge.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, depending on how you evaluate Shanahan’s performance during his three years on the job. There was no way Shanahan was going to please everyone when it came to handing out suspensions and there were some head-scratchers to be sure, but Shanahan did an outstanding job of communicating his methodology and reasoning behind each of his suspensions. Even if you disagreed with his decision, you could at least appreciate his reasoning behind it. Shanahan streamlined the process and spearheaded its evolution into a pretty well-oiled machine. Read more

Stephane Quintal takes over as NHL’s new chief disciplinarian, immediately faces significant challenges

Adam Proteau
Stephane Quintal (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

One of the worst-kept secrets in hockey was confirmed Monday when the NHL announced former defenseman Stephane Quintal would be the permanent replacement for Brendan Shanahan as senior vice-president of the league’s player safety department.

But although the department was modernized and improved under Shanahan before he left in April to take the role of president of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Quintal – who’s been working as interim chief of player safety since Shanahan departed – immediately will have more than his share of challenges ahead.

Some of those challenges come with the territory. The 45-year-old Quintal will have his motivations called into question constantly and unfairly, just as Shanahan did and just as his predecessor Colin Campbell did. Fans are going to examine every element of Quintal’s 16-year NHL career and toss out preposterous conspiracy theories on his motivations and supplementary discipline decisions. The truth about the process – namely, that the chief disciplinarian isn’t a dictator and works in concert with other members of the player safety department before rendering any verdicts – won’t register with every fan. So he’s just going to have to get accustomed to that. Read more

John Moore and Dan Girardi seeking redemption in Game 2

dangirardi

LOS ANGELES – Two brain cramps, two New York Ranger defensemen looking for redemption. For John Moore and Dan Girardi, Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final will provide a chance to clear the slate and start anew.

For Moore, the dream was put on hold for just a little while. And he’ll finally realize it when he steps on the ice Saturday night for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final. Wait, check that. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault never talks about his lineup so he would not guarantee that Moore would play Game 2 after coming back from his two-game suspension in the Eastern Conference final. But it would be a shock to not see him in the lineup and for Raphael Diaz not to come out. Read more

Dan Carcillo’s suspension reduced from 10 games to six, can return for Game 4 of Stanley Cup final

Carcillo

Dan Carcillo will return to the Rangers this post-season after all, as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has ruled to reduce Carcillo’s suspension from 10 games down to six.

Carcillo is eligible to return for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final.

The reason for the change has to do with the appropriate application and interpretation of the rule book. Originally, Carcillo was levied with a mandatory 10-game suspension as spelled out by Rule 40.3:

40.3 Automatic Suspension – Category II - Any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner (excluding actions as set out in Category I), which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits on an official, shall be automatically suspended for not less than ten (10) games.

Carcillo did not intend to injure Driscoll, but no doubt applied a frustrated physical force to break free. This rule can apply, depending on how you read it and how you see the play.

But as Bettman ruled, Rule 40.4 is more appropriate in this situation: Read more

Message-senders not fooling anybody during playoffs

Dorsett

Ever wonder why the playoffs seem to turn some NHL players into such schoolyard bullies? Because it’s the Cup?

So far in this post-season, we’ve had an epidemic of pitchforks to the privates and a scourge of water-related incidents. Then there was that all-round character guy Derek Dorsett spraying one of the Canadiens flag kids with snow during the ceremonies before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final. He would then go on to head butt Mike Weaver in the dying moments of the game. Read more

NHL draft combine: Players face their red flags

Ryan Kennedy
Anthony-DeAngelo

The most important aspect of the draft combine (other than the medical testing) is the interview process. All 30 teams get to sit down with as many prospects as they want and get to know the kids. Some teams are nice, some are intimidating. And while the talks are nerve-wracking, some prospects have more at stake than others.

Two of the best examples this year are Josh Ho-Sang of the Windsor Spitfires and Anthony DeAngelo from the Sarnia Sting. Both Ontario Leaguers bring incredible skills to the table – Ho-Sang’s 85 points came from his magical hands and vision, while DeAngelo’s acumen from the point made him the highest-scoring blueliner in the league with 71 points in 51 games.

But the reason DeAngelo only played 51 games was because of two suspensions. In both cases, he was found to have violated the OHL’s harassment, abuse and diversity policy. One of those incidents involved making an “inappropriate statement to a teammate.”

Plenty of stories are floating around the hockey world about the specifics and DeAngelo knows it.

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John Moore’s dirty hit on Dale Weise may prove to be the turning point in Montreal’s favor against Rangers

Dale Weise

John Moore’s vicious blindside hit on Canadiens winger Dale Weise halfway through the third period of Game 5 between New York and Montreal may not only be what gets the Rangers defenseman suspended. It may also be the rallying point for the Habs in the Eastern Conference final, which now heads back to Manhattan for Game Six after the Blueshirts fell 7-4 to Montreal.

Moore blindsided Weise on a late hit that knocked the Habs’ winger loopy – and knocked the helmet off his head, which Moore was clearly targeting – and forced him to the league’s “quiet” room. Weise’s first instinct, other than trying to regain his bearings, was to go after Moore, but Canadiens teammate P.K. Subban wisely guided Weise away and allowed Moore’s act to speak for itself. And boy, does it ever.

It says “suspend me”. It says “this series wasn’t nasty enough yet, so let’s take out one of Montreal’s most important foot soldiers and see if that doesn’t get the Canadiens hating the Rangers as much as they hate the Bruins”. Read more

Daniel Carcillo suspended 10 games for abuse of an official. Did he get off easy?

Carcillo

The Daniel Carcillo verdict is official. The New York Rangers left winger gets 10 games for elbowing linesman Scott Driscoll in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final against Montreal. In case you’re wondering, that means Carcillo misses the rest of the playoffs unless the Rangers and Habs go to Game 7, the Rangers win, and the Rangers reach a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup final.

If you haven’t seen the fracas yet, which occurred because Carcillo was enraged over the Derek Stepan hit, watch it here:

 

The league stated Carcillo “physically applied force to linesman Scott Driscoll while being escorted to the penalty box.” Fair enough. Upon reading further into official league rules that fuelled the decision, however, I wonder if Carcillo should’ve received 20 games, not 10.

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