Monday, January 23, 2012

Brendan Shanahan's Biggest Challenge So Far: Suspend Alex Ovechkin?

Since taking over as the NHL's dean of discipline, there have been a lot of tough decisions for Brendan Shanahan and his group in the Department of Player Safety.

Outside of dropping the ball a couple times -- most notably involving hits on Minnesota Wild players -- Shanahan and his people have done a pretty good job.

But Shanahan's biggest challenge comes Monday, when he has a hearing with Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin over an obviously illegal hit on Pittsburgh defenseman Zbynek Michalek.

No question here. Ovechkin leaves his feet, the head is the principal point of contact, and he's a repeat offender.

It's not going to be easy to suspend a star player, but Shanahan has to make a clear case here that no player is above the law as defined again and again in his suspension videos.

This should be a two-game ban. And, no, it won't affect Ovechkin's status for the All-Star Game this weekend.

1 comment:

Diapan said...

He's not a repeat offender because neither of his two previous suspensions have been in the last 18 months. He should definitely have been penalized, though. Not sure he intended to contact the head, but his skates definitely left the ice.