I’m shocked the NHL let Shea Weber off without a suspension. Shocked!!! When I saw that Vancouver Canuck Bryon Bitz was suspended for a hit from behind for two games — it further added to my angst. Former Red Wing Brendan Shanahan is the NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations.
Shanahan was quoted on NHL.com saying:
“This was a reckless and reactionary play on which Weber threw a glancing punch and then shoved Zetterberg’s head into the glass,” said Shanahan. “As is customary whenever Supplemental Discipline is being considered, we contacted Detroit following the game and were informed that Zetterberg did not suffer an apparent injury and should be in the lineup for Game 2.”
That difference cited by Shanahan was that Bitz’s victim, King Kyle Clifford left the game and didn’t return and was quoted by a team doctor as having an injury. Zetterberg would have perhaps left the game — IF IT WEREN’T ALREADY OVER!
Another difference, Bitz’s hit was a check. Weber was a WWE turnbuckle smash. It strikes me that “checking” is a normal part of the game, but “turnbuckle smashes,” are not.
This is why I felt Shanahan should have recused
himself from this ruling. I think it is reasonable to ask the question of whether or not Shanahan went light on Weber to avoid the perception of favorable treatment given to his former beloved team. I don’t know that happened, but I am left to wonder.