Brendan Shanahan is ruling with a iron fist this season when it comes to suspending players for misconduct and extreme penalties. Chicago Blackhawks Daniel Carcillo and Calgary Flames Rene Bourque are the most recent players to be suspended.
During an Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks game, Carcillio was given a five minute major for boarding Oilers’ Tom Gilbert. Boarding is such a huge issue in the league due to all the concussions that have been caused from these huge hits, that Carcillo was also given a misconduct.
Carcillo is a repeat offender, as he has already been suspended this season, which may relate to why he is being suspended for seven games. This is the most games that a player has been suspended so far this season, so this suspension will severely affect the Blackhawks line. This is also the first time this season that the department of player safety has offered an in person hearing. For the majority of suspensions the hearings have been done via telephone interview or VP Shanahan has made the call regarding the suspension based on what he saw in the replay.
Carcillo’s in person hearing occurred this morning, which is when Shanahan made his final decision on how many games Carcillo will miss. Seven games is a huge number to be missing game time, but with the recent changes going on with how to handle concussions and player injuries due to hard hits, it is no wonder that Carcillo is being punished so severely. Like all game suspensions, not only will Carcillo not be able to play but he will have to forfeit a large sum of his salary due to his absence. Carcillo will have to give up a whooping $66,158.54 to The Player’s Emergency Assistance Fund and cannot return to the ice until January 18th.
As for Calgary Flames Rene Bourque he will only have be suspended for five games, but this is still more games than we have seen in earlier players’ suspensions. Bourque is being suspended for so many games due to a elbow to the head of the Washington Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom. Like Carcillo, Bourque is a repeat offender which explains why his suspension is longer than if a player with no history of offenses would have elbowed Backstrom.
Headshots like this are the leading cause of “concussion like symptons” right now, so it is no surprise that Bourque’s suspension is so long. Like Carcillo the Flames forward has to give up $203,252.05 of his salary to the Players Emergency Assistance Fund. The odd thing about this is that although Bourque is suspended for less games than Carcillo he has to forfeit more money from his salary. The only reason why this may occur, other than simple semantics and calculations of the collective bargaining agreement, is that the NHL is trying to protect players’ heads better. Perhaps this is the step in the right direction of banning head shots so that players with star power are not sitting out a whole season because of hits like this giving them concussions.