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Honesty may have doomed the Red Wings in terms of Shea Weber’s suspension

Updated 2x at 12:18 PM: The Red Wings are on the ice for practice as I write this, with MLive’s Ansar Khan reporting that Nicklas Lidstrom and Ian White are skating together, and NHL.com’s Brian Hedger reporting that Danny Cleary’s skating on the Datsyuk line, with Gustav Nyquist demoted to the 4th line and Todd Bertuzzi skating with Miller and Abdelkader…

And while that should tide you over till the after-practice updates, if you are, as the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts

RedWingsFeed) suggests, no longer a Brendan Shanahan fan because he chose not to suspend Shea Weber, Pro Hockey talk’s Joe Yerdon reports that Shanahan told WFAN’s Boomer and Carton in New York that he didn’t suspend Weber because, well…The Wings didn’t lie and tell Shanahan that Henrik Zetterberg was hurt:

“I looked at that one and I’m not happy with that play,” Shanahan said. “I investigated that hit. I called Detroit that night. I think that (Weber) pushed (Zetterberg’s) face in the glass. I was really close to a one-game suspension on that and when I talked to Detroit and I talked to (Ken Holland) he basically said the player was fine.”

Here’s the interview:

Download file

Update: Here’s a bit more from Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski:

“I looked at that one, and I’m not happy with that play. I’ll say on the bigger picture too: If I made a decision that people didn’t agree with, or a day or two later, you got that one wrong, a week later they’d try to hold me to that standard and question by consistency if I move forward.

“The playoffs evolve. The game evolves. I have to try and keep evolving with them. It’s not like the regular season where every team has 82 games to play, and there’s equal footing. They change depending on the score of the series or how many games are left in the series.

“I investigated that hit. I called Detroit that night. I think that he pushed his face in the glass. I was very close to a 1-game suspension on that. When I talked to Detroit [GM Ken Holland], he basically said that the player was fine.

“I think it’s a fair argument. A $2,500 fine is as high as we can fine a player.”

Update #2 NHL.com’s John Manasso also captured Predators coach Barry Trotz’s take on Weber fighting Todd Bertuzzi:

“If I knew the future I’d say ‘No, don’t do that,’” Trotz said. “I knew something was up and sometimes teams will stick up for guys. I probably would say our response would be very similar to Detroit’s if something happened to one of our guys and we agreed or disagreed with what was done. There might be a little bit of a response.

“It’s part of hockey. It’s just sort of that code that sometimes the players have to govern each other and Shea’s not going to back down from that. Most times, he’ll back away from that because I don’t want him [off] the ice, but that was a situation where in the NHL code, unwritten codes we have, sometimes you say ‘OK, I get it. I’m here. Let’s have closure to this issue and let’s move on.’ And really that’s what happened.”

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Comments

SolidTG7's avatar

Danny Cleary’s skating on the Datsyuk line, with Gustav Nyquist demoted to the 4th line and Todd Bertuzzi skating with Miller and Abdelkader…

lol wut

Posted by SolidTG7 on 04/16/12 at 12:49 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Doggammit Babcock.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/16/12 at 12:50 PM ET

SolidTG7's avatar

Mike Babcock is trolling hard these days

Posted by SolidTG7 on 04/16/12 at 01:01 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Could you imagine if we prosecuted gun crimes in this way?  How about a little ad absurdum for you:

“I looked at that one and I’m not happy with the perp’s use of a gun in act of the crime,” Judge Shanahan said. “I investigated the crime. I called the victim that night. I think that (the perp) pistol whipped (the victim’s) face. I was really close to a conviction on that crime and when I talked to (the victim) and I talked to (his parents) they basically said the victim was fine, so I let the perp off with a jay walking ticket and a stern talking to.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/16/12 at 01:03 PM ET

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Well, I guess Cleary has been one of the few Wings to play with some passion every game (from begining to end). His knee might be slowing him down but if his energy can help light a fire under Franzen and give Dats some hustle it might work.

I really wish they could find a perfect 3rd person for that line. I don’t think he is on the team right now.

Posted by JP on 04/16/12 at 01:06 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Nyquist or Brunnstrom. They’re both on the team now.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/16/12 at 01:07 PM ET

SolidTG7's avatar

They have that person in Nyquist, Babcock just needs to trust his rookies some, sometimes good things happen, look at the Philly rookies, those guys are tearing it up.

Posted by SolidTG7 on 04/16/12 at 01:11 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I like how Shanahan felt he had to come out and defend his decision. First time for that…how interesting…

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/16/12 at 01:15 PM ET

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I was really close to a one-game suspension on that and when I talked to Detroit and I talked to (Ken Holland) he basically said the player was fine.

What a *#$%@& piece of shit.

CLOSE to a one-game suspension?  How about, no matter whether Zetterberg was “hurt”, it SHOULD have been more than one, no question.

It would be bad if Weber only got one game because of Zetterberg being ok, rather than more games, but it’s a *#$%@& travesty that Shanahan can pretend that there’s any justification for no suspension at all.

Posted by Garth on 04/16/12 at 01:20 PM ET

SolidTG7's avatar

Maybe moving Cleary up will show the team that you get rewarded for trying really hard, drop Mule for Nyquist and that line could really work.  Cleary has always been good at corner work so he could get the puck back to the skill guys plus he does have a bit of a scoring touch.

Before the playoffs I didn’t want to see Cleary much, he’s proven me wrong and I just wish the rest of the team would try as hard as he seems to be doing,

Posted by SolidTG7 on 04/16/12 at 01:20 PM ET

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Maybe moving Cleary up will show the team that you get rewarded for trying really hard,


Danny Cleary’s skating on the Datsyuk line,


with Gustav Nyquist demoted to the 4th line

It doesn’t.

Posted by Herm from the office on 04/16/12 at 01:28 PM ET

YzermanZetterberg's avatar

Regardless of what team he plays for, the issue of Zetterberg being injured or not was and is totally irrelevant. Shanahan is the supposed head of the supposed “Department of Player Safety”—which is becoming more and more difficult to read or type without laughing and/or smirking sarcastically.

Plain and simple, Weber’s actions were an affront to the basic idea of player safety. In addition, they were well outside the realm of anything that can or should be classified as a “hockey play.” For Shanahan to ignore these factors, then come out and say he “almost suspended Weber for one game, but Zetterberg wasn’t hurt” is incredibly foolish, shortsighted and—potentially—damning.

Like the NFL, the NHL is headed toward a future laced with class-action lawsuits brought by former players and the estates of deceased former players who have suffered brain injuries. Back in the day, shrugging and saying “Who knew?” may have been at least a somewhat viable defense. Today, however, with more and more becoming know about head injuries and their unpredictable nature, continuing to turn a blind eye will simply not cut it. Shanahan, the NHL and the NHLPA are stupidly playing with a loaded gun in both the short and long term.

Posted by YzermanZetterberg on 04/16/12 at 01:40 PM ET

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C’mon Shanny…

What about justice for Z’s helmet? It gave it’s life to protect that beautiful…beautiful hair.

Seriously the Z was fortunate to not be hurt via concussion, the visor breaking or cutting him. The fact his helmet broke and did it’s job should be enough justification to suspend Weber for intent to injure.

Posted by Moocat from From Zetterberg's sock drawer on 04/16/12 at 01:44 PM ET

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I think that line needs a big, firery guy who plays with passion every shift and has a nose for rebounds. I love the skill of Nyquist, but while the rest of that line skates around and holds onto the puck someone needs to be willing give and take some hits and get dirty fighting for the rebounds. And maybe be a bit of a jerk while doing it. That is not Gus’s skill set.

That guy isn’t on the team.

Posted by JP on 04/16/12 at 01:46 PM ET

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Could you imagine if we prosecuted gun crimes in this way?

Obviously you dont live in a “Stand Your Ground” state

Posted by jwad on 04/16/12 at 01:52 PM ET

Mike from Austin's avatar

Why should resultant injury to a player not be a factor to be considered in the evaluation for punishment?

If person A commits an act in which they did not intend to kill or cause a potentially deadly situation, but person B dies as a result of the act committed by person A, A is still tried and potentially held accountable due to the resultant injury to B. There was no intent to cause harm, but harm nonetheless occurred, and, because of the result, A is punished. I believe this is what happens in manslaughter.

If person A intends to kill person B and succeeds, A is accountable for murder. On the other hand, if A intends to kill B but fails, A is accountable to a lesser offense of attempted murder. Intent in each case is the same, but the different outcomes are handled and punished differently. Resultant death usually means a harsher penalty, and no death usually means a less harsh penalty. 

I’m not defending any of Shanny’s rulings, and I don’t think the current disciplinary system is perfect or good or even bad for that matter(it is certainly inconsistent). I just think that injury resulting to a player is a legitimate factor to consider when determining disciplinary action. Its a factor in the legal/justice system, so why shouldn’t it play a part in the NHL’s disciplinary process?

Posted by Mike from Austin on 04/16/12 at 01:54 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Ladies and Gents, there’s a whole practice thread for you to ponder lineup changes in now…

And I think Shanny’s logic is suspect as well.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/16/12 at 01:59 PM ET

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Why should resultant injury to a player not be a factor to be considered in the evaluation for punishment?

I dont think people have a problem with it being a factor, but not the only factor.  Clear intent to injure should be suspendable whether the player is successful or not.

Carkner and Hagelin is the perfect example.  Haglin got his elbow up, but he was attempting to make a hockey play. 

Carkner full on assulted Boyle, who tried not to fight him.  He continued to pummel Boyle after he fell to the ice. 

Which of these is the worse offense?  Its really difficult for me to believe that its Hagelin, regardless of the injury.

Posted by jwad on 04/16/12 at 02:01 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Cleary being moved to Datsyuk’s line is smart but leaving Mule on it is not. Franzen needs to get 2:52 for the 1st 2two periods with the 4th line and then see if he’s ready to play big boy hockey. AND FER FECKS SAKE PUT CONNOR IN, BABS!

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/16/12 at 02:01 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by Mike from Austin on 04/16/12 at 12:54 PM ET

I agree with this.

I dont think people have a problem with it being a factor, but not the only factor.  Clear intent to injure should be suspendable whether the player is successful or not.

Posted by jwad on 04/16/12 at 01:01 PM ET

I also agree with this.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/16/12 at 02:08 PM ET

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Posted by Mike from Austin on 04/16/12 at 12:54 PM ET

Also, I believe in most states, attempted murder carries a harsher sentence then Involuntary manslaughter. 

So its not just the result, but also the intent and actions that should be punished.

Again, not saying that injury cant or shouldnt be a factor, Im just really disgusted by the fact that a bad hit is somehow worse than some of the blatant acts of violence that were completely unrelated to hockey that we’ve seen over the less then 1 week of playoff action.

Posted by jwad on 04/16/12 at 02:13 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by Mike from Austin on 04/16/12 at 12:54 PM ET

Fine, but shouldn’t you also take into account that the only reason there was no injury is because Weber punched Zetterberg in the back of the head and Zetterberg reacted by putting his glove up to his face, thus saving himself from a broken face when Weber grabbed by the back of the head and shoved him facefirst into the glass?

Or what about the fact that if I shoot someone and they don’t die, I still face a pretty stiff punishment.

If I shoot you and you don’t die because you were wearing a bulletproof vest, should I then not be punished?

I don’t even know what to call Weber’s fine, because to refer to it as a slap on the wrist is a joke.  In the regular season, Weber makes $1524 per minute.  He gets paid $3048 to sit in the penalty box for two minutes.  This fine was less than a two minute penalty, for slamming a player’s head into the glass.

Weber was not punished at all for that hit and that is not in any way justifiable.

Posted by Garth on 04/16/12 at 02:18 PM ET

UMFan's avatar

The NHL needs to change Shanny’s job title to Head of the Department of Player Injury as “Injury” seems more important than “safety.”

Posted by UMFan from Denver, Colorado on 04/16/12 at 02:21 PM ET

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The NHL needs to change Shanny’s job title to Head of the Department of Player Injury as “Injury” seems more important than “safety.”

Posted by UMFan from Denver, Colorado on 04/16/12 at 01:21 PM ET

Nice

Posted by jwad on 04/16/12 at 02:24 PM ET

Avatar

All along I thought Shanahn was using his MD degree to discern the extent to which a player had been injured. You mean he isn’t a PhD and able to make a diagnosis to determine the long term ill affects an illegal act has had on a player?

Does he work for an insurance company and call the player immediately after the game saying ‘You feel alright, don’t you?” If the players says “I think I’m okay”, the next call is no suspension since the player said he as not injured.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 04/16/12 at 03:05 PM ET

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At least Trotz seems to understand that Weber had to defend his actions.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 04/16/12 at 03:12 PM ET

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Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 04/16/12 at 02:12 PM ET

He was overjoyed by it because he knows that Weber should’ve been defending his actions in October when is the next time he should’ve had to face the Red Wings again.

Posted by Garth on 04/16/12 at 04:05 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

I don’t even know what to call Weber’s fine, because to refer to it as a slap on the wrist is a joke.

You call that a handshake and a job well done for bringing “intensity” to the game; an endorsement of the act and an example that has been followed in every other series thus far in the playoffs.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 04/16/12 at 04:55 PM ET

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Please, Mr. Shanahan, find a reason (spearing, for example, low-facing or something) and suspend Franzen for 1 game. I am not kidding. That may actually help Red Wings.

Posted by Alex on 04/16/12 at 06:38 PM ET

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Let’s pretend that Weber was suspended for one game and that we won that game (wait…. we actually did), and get this suspension thing over with already.

We have a must-win game 4 at hand. Let’s focus on it.

Posted by Alex on 04/16/12 at 06:46 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

Im gonna go with a line of Parise-Helm-Nyquist.  Oh uhhhh, nevermind.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 04/16/12 at 08:11 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.