By Allan Muir
No one should have been surprised to learn that Brayden Schenn got a call from the NHL after his leaping hit leveled New Jersey defender Anton Volchenkov on Tuesday night. Dirty? Maybe not. Dangerous? Yeah, for sure.
The consensus opinion of puck pundits held that a fine was likely, but league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan took it a step further this afternoon, suspending the Philadelphia winger for a game. He’ll miss Thursday’s home game against the New York Rangers.
It seems like a reasonable call. As Shanahan notes, Volchenkov wasn’t hurt on the play and Schenn has no history of suspensions. But the league takes a dim view of any player who launches himself off the ice before making contact, so a message needed to be sent.
What remains to be seen is whether this will be a precedent-setting suspension for similar hits this season (heads up, Niklas Kronwall). Consistency would go a long way to making sure the message gets across.