Vulgar Opinions: Brendan Shanahan And The Suspensions Of Doom (SFW)
Ah, what to say about Brendan Shanahan, a guy who I pointed out looked like a skating zombie corpse for the last two years of his NHL career. Not that his play was terrible, he just looked like he was held together by black magic.
Now Shanahan, in all his zombie goodness, is appearing in a series of videos explaining the basis for NHL suspensions. Many fans have reacted warmly to the videos, and I agree with them. While Shanahan might have some ulterior motives in keeping the brains of NHL players decidedly unscrambled, an increase in player safety can only be a good thing.
That Shanahan seems intent on righting the wrongs of the previous administration with these video reviews is even better. Handing out punishments for illegal hits has always been a mess, and worse than that, a mess shrouded in secrecy with no apparent rhyme or reasons. That the old “Colin Campbell Wheel of Discipline,” jokes were so disappointingly accurate was a black mark on the NHL. Shanahan isn’t going to correct everything overnight and it remains to be seen if he can find a strictness and consistency that most can agree with (though early indications are encouraging). But reaching out to the players and the public with these videos is an excellent first step towards giving the process a legitimacy it has never had.