Former New York Ranger and longtime New Jersey Devil Brendan Shanahan, who is currently the NHL senior vice president of player safety, has scheduled a hearing for tomorrow morning to pretend to listen to New York Ranger Brandon Prust’s side of the story in the case of a high elbow from Saturday’s game against the Devils. Then Shanahan will mouth some tripe about “player safety” and suspend Prust for one to three games.
Prust’s elbow hit Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov in the back of the head after skidding off the back of Volchenkov’s shoulders. The defenseman was knocked to the ice and stayed there for a few seconds before returning to the bench. No penalty was called – which is significant, since officiating crews have been out to get the Blueshirts so intensely that they have been whistling the Rangers for having overdue library books – and Volchenkov didn’t even miss a shift.
Those are the facts; but facts are of no concern to Shanahan. Here is what relevant to Shanahan: Prust plays for the Rangers.
The only thing Shanahan has done consistently in this postseason is punish the Rangers and protect the Devils. Consider:
- Shanahan suspended rookie Carl Hagelin for three games for elbowing Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 of the quarterfinals. Rangers screwed by bad ruling.
- Shanahan refused to even examine the case of Washington Capitals’ forward and previously suspended thug Alexander Ovechkin leaving his skates to smash Ranger’s defenseman Dan Girardi in the head with his shoulder. Rangers screwed by non-ruling.
- Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers was suspended for one game by Shanahan for shouldering the Devils’ Dainius Zubrus in the jaw. Devils benefit from correct ruling.
Now, how do you think Shanahan will rule when he has to decide whether to punish a Ranger to the benefit of the Devils? Remember, Prust didn’t leave his skates like Ovechkin did; Prust hit the shoulders first, just like Ovechkin; there was no call on the ice; Volchenkov wasn’t hurt; Prust has a clean record, never having been suspended before.
Yep, it’s an open-and-shut case! It would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic.