Hi, I've been away from the computer all day, tracking the suspension only briefly a couple times when people texted me asking what the hell was going on.
Yeah, I have no idea. I honestly don't know what Brendan Shanahan could have seen here that dictated a two-game suspension.
Go to 1:35 for the good angle
And here's the video announcing the Shanaban
Shanahan says that the reckless swing, no matter whether it was intended to hit Matt Calvert in the hands and rode up Calvert's stick to make contact with his face, Bouchard is responsible for the actions of his stick.
Ok. I buy that, but I don't buy that it's suspension worthy. This is a joke.
Suspensions have two purposes. 1) To punish an intentional action affecting player safety. 2) To mitigate future actions of the same kind. This clearly was done to punish the effect of the slash, not the intent.
Are we going to see guys intentionally try to deflect an opponent's stick into their mouth? Of course not. Are we going to see fewer guys try to slash someone in the breezers or the hands as a result of the suspension? No way.
It's unlikely that missing Bouchard against the Islanders or Oilers will really negatively impact the team in the loss column, but it is costing Bouchard $44,108.10 and gives him his first career suspension, placing him on the repeat offender portion of the suspension tree. That could be the biggest effect of this action.
Of course, everyone's favorite agent Allan Walsh emailed Michael Russo of the StarTribune to give his thoughts
There is no one who supports ridding the game of headshots, blindside hits and dangerous hits from behind more than Pierre-Marc. What occurred on the play in question last night was none of the above. The notion that Pierre-Marc Bouchard intentionally swung his stick into the face of an opponent is patently absurd. He's just not that kind of player.