By Matt Spiegel-
(WSCR) NHL punishment czar Brendan Shanahan caught so much flack for his soft, inexplicable non-suspension of Shea Weber, that I was worried he would overcompensate and hammer Andrew Shaw far worse than deserved.
That’s exactly what happened.
I don’t buy that his office has a plan to help the league owned Phoenix Coyotes. They’d rather have Chicago around for NBC ratings. I don’t buy that he allowed some personal bias against the Blackhawks to affect the Shaw suspension. If he’s working for personal bias, he would have hammered Weber to help what everyone assumes are his beloved Red Wings.
Here’s what happened: He didn’t want to affect a big series like Nashville-Detroit by putting an important player like Weber off the ice for a game or more. The Predators are a legit contender, and a nice story. But, he was questioned, derided, and justifiably mocked for that ridiculous decision.
So he seizes an opportunity for overcompensation with the far less essential Shaw. He had already done the same with a three-game suspension of Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin, who had no history of violence when he elbowed Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson.
Shanahan thought he could get away with the Weber leniency in a quest to not damage Nashville’s chances. When he didn’t, he tried to salvage credibility by donning the cloak of the hanging judge once again. This reactionary chaos has created a completely untrustworthy league, and severely damaged the entire sport’s appeal. The playoffs are a barely supervised knife fight. It’s “The Outsiders” on ice.
Now, after Raffi Torres’ brutal, filthy hit on Marian Hossa, Shanahan has to wield the heaviest hammer yet. An indefinite suspension is what should be handed down. Anything less than the rest of this series will be the most egregious mistake yet in an awful postseason for the league.
Listen to Matt Spiegel and Dan McNeil talk about Torres’ hit and Tuesday night’s Blackhawks loss from 9am-1pm on 670 The Score and 670TheScore.com.