With the recent 25 game suspension handed down on Raffi Torres I started to think about when many of the suspensions were handed out. After the jump I take a bit of a shot in the dark at it.
On December 13th 2011, close to the mid point of the season, Pierre was hit from behind into the boards, concussed and was done for at a minimum the rest of the 2011-12 season by Zach Bogosian. His career is now in jeopardy and that hit and that game in particular has been circled as a reason the Wild stumbled to the end of the season.
The latest suspension has come here in the playoffs, with Raffi Torres getting 25 games for what we all can agree was a dirty dangerous hit that true hockey fans do not want to see in the game.
The accusation I hold is that Brendan Shanahan has acted like a fair weather hockey fan when dealing out discipline this year. Early in the season when we all thought the new sheriff was in town he acted like many fans. Excited for the new season and dealing many suspension, inquiries and fines on many players. Just like fan interest generally drops in November and December so had Shanahan. He seemed to suspend players for hits in the big markets and then much less often. As the playoffs drew nearer and fan interest began to rise as is often the case when a team is making its playoff push, the suspensions seemed to come back. It is also worth noting that by this time players seemed to be taking more liberties, runs, flying elbows and the like from the lull in the middle of the season.
My message to Shanahan: Be consistent, and don't nap during the middle of the season. We, the fans and players, are counting on you to watch our backs and clean up the game. Do a fair and consistent job and we won't have as much venom towards you.