Brendan Shanahan and the powers that be leveled a 2-game suspension (seems to be the minimum length on a lot of these) at Kris Letang, the day after he likewise leveled a dangerous hit at Alexander Burmistrov. I know yesterday I referred to Letang as an "asshole," but in view of the suspension I consider justice served and he has a chance to rehabilitate himself.
That said, I know the minute I saw the hit that it was a rough one, and I was hopeful it would be reviewed by the league but skeptical because there wasn't an injury on the play. The level of seriousness the league used to deal with the hit impresses me, and I hope it's beginning to send a powerful message to the NHL players.
I know I've been a kiss-ass towards Shanahan before, but I have to say, once again, the language is impressive to me...
I'll pluck some of the pertinent quotes:
In our opinion, Burmistrov's path to the puck is predictable, and there are no sudden movements just prior, or simultaneous with the hit.
...Letang...fails to minimize the check.
The onus is on Letang to avoid the hit entirely, or at the very least minimize the contact.
Hmmm, that line of logic sounds familiar...
Maybe I'm just spitballing here, but I suspect that Shanahan's been spending a lot of time conversing with NHL referees, as opposed to NHL office-types. The kind of things he's saying sounds similar to the the kind of things I hear my dad say about illegal plays, and he's been a USA Hockey referee for a quarter-century.
Here's the full explanation from ShanaBan himself:
I feel bad that the Pens are losing an important player at a trying time, but he's the one who decided to test the limits. If he, or any Jets or other NHL player, wants to continue to test those limits, they should expect to miss some time and lose some pay.