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Shanahan Explains Non-Suspension Call on Malone

“We felt that this hit was the most challenging one so far in this preseason for the Department of Player Safety to evaluate,” said Shanahan. “In the end, we felt that Malone had committed to the hit when Campoli was upright. However, when the contact was made, Campoli’s head position significantly changed just prior to the hit.

“There are elements about the hit that we don’t like – specifically, the principal point of contact being the head and that it was not a full-body check. But the overriding factor in our judgment was that Campoli’s loss of the puck and subsequent bending forward for it just prior contributed significantly, if not entirely, to those elements.”

Brendan Shanahan via NHL.com

Video footage of the hit previously posted here.

Update 4:41pm ET: via Lightning Strikes, a response from Ryan Malone—

“I already had my mind made up that I was on route to make the hit and he leaned forward a little bit,” Malone said Monday. “I still caught part of his shoulder. ... But that’s a hit you have to make and a guy has his head down. It’s not like I intentionally tried to injure him or anything. It’s a hockey hit. That’s what happened.”

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan, ryan+malone



unless the NHL makes every hit to the head a suspension you are going to have situations that end in no suspension like this one.

Good non-suspension call for shanny.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 10/03/11 at 04:37 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I’m glad we have one of these explanations about a non-suspension. It makes sense. A good comparison is this hit against the Smith/Smith hit. Difference being, as Shanahan explains, here Campoli puts himself (and his head) in a very vulnerable position after Malone has already committed to make the check. With Smith/Smith, Ben Smith did certainly toe drag, but kept his head up the entire time.

To me, another big difference is that the Smith/Smith hit was an example of a D know he was beaten and using careless physical play to make up for his mistake. The Malone hit is the exact opposite, it’s a forward doing his job on the forecheck putting pressure on the D.

Posted by Nathan from wasting perfect passes from my teammates on 10/03/11 at 04:40 PM ET


I did not see Campoli “significantly” change the location of his head.  He was moving straight forward in a skating position.  Yes, he lost the puck, but his head does not move.  I don’t like the explanation.  Ben Smith didn’t significantly move his head, nor did Chris Campoli.  Shanahan and Yzerman are good friends.  Hope this didn’t have anything to do with it.

Posted by wolverine from hockeyheaven on 10/03/11 at 05:52 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I still don’t see how this differs much from the Smith/Smith hit…the only difference is this time Shanny’s telling forwards they have to keep their heads up.

Posted by mrfluffy from the phone, calling Detroit, telling them it's on 10/03/11 at 06:21 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I think it’s clear as day… his explanation and the video line up. Campoli loses the puck in his feet. It was unfortunate timing. It’s not really a situation where we’re turning the victim into the one at fault. Just a bad bounce resulted in Campoli being unable to defend himself from a hit that was face up.

Posted by Nathan from wasting perfect passes from my teammates on 10/03/11 at 07:25 PM ET


Good call and good explanation.

Posted by Pierre from Sherbrooke,Qc on 10/03/11 at 07:47 PM ET

hiero4life's avatar

You can’t compair the Smith/Smith hit to this one.  I am ok with the no suspension, you have to protect yourself at all times on the ice.

Posted by hiero4life from anywhere i am on 10/03/11 at 07:47 PM ET


You can’t compair the Smith/Smith hit to this one

you have to protect yourself at all times on the ice.

I think you just contradicted yourself there…in any case, this whole “head shot”/suspension business is getting really f*cking annoying.

Posted by godblender on 10/03/11 at 08:14 PM ET


If the players play within the rules and play the game without head shots then these shanahan videos will stop.  its as simple as that.  nothing annoying about it at all.

Posted by Eric on 10/03/11 at 09:28 PM ET


Good call by Shanahan.

Posted by timbits on 10/04/11 at 01:01 AM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Posted by Eric on 10/03/11 at 07:28 PM ET

That’s exactly the point, right here.

Players have to learn how to hit again.  For too long people have been trying to hit high to put the other guy on his ass, and that’s not the point of a check.  I was always taught to aim for the center of the torso with my shoulder, keep my elbows in and arms down, and step through the opposing player—none of this hands to the face, elbows flying crap that’s so prevalent now.

Posted by RedMenace from A Tormented Hellscape on 10/04/11 at 12:24 PM ET

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