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Video: John Scott’s vicious cheap shot on Loui Eriksson leaves Bruins steaming

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By Allan Muir

John Scott is the ultimate grocery stick. His sole purpose in the league is to intimidate the opposition, but it’s hard to ask him to perform even that small service because he’s a complete liability in every other way.

He’s a wasted sweater on a Buffalo team that could desperately use an infusion of skill to try to salvage a season that’s quickly slipping away.

The good news for Sabres fans is that his roster spot is about to open up. Hopefully for a very long time.

GALLERY: NHL’s dirtiest players

Scott is going to be banished for several games after delivering a vicious elbow to the head of Boston’s Loui Eriksson early in the third period of tonight’s 5-2 win for the Bruins.

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  • Published On Oct 23, 2013
  • SHANABANNED! Michael Grabner gets two games for elbowing Nathan Gerbe

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    By Allan Muir

    The NHL sent a strong and clear message with the five-game suspension handed to Colorado forward Cody McLeod this afternoon: hits from behind won’t be tolerated.

    Blindside head shots though? Eh, not so bad . . . at least, if you’re a first-time offender.

    That’s the takeaway from the two-game sentence handed to New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner on Monday evening.

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  • Published On Oct 21, 2013
  • SHANABANNED! Cody McLeod gets five games for boarding Niklas Kronwall

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    By Allan Muir

    It’s been a long time since a Brendan Shanahan-issued suspension felt like an attention getter. Safe to say that the five-game ban he handed to Cody McLeod tonight effectively ended that streak.

    The Colorado forward was sentenced to civvies today for a vicious hit from behind that left Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall with a slight concussion.

    There were a lot of moving parts to this case that made it worth watching, including its timing in relation to two other high-profile incidents: a story Saturday about a crackdown on violence in the KHL and Kronwall’s surprising decision to publicly assume some of the blame for the collision.

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  • Published On Oct 21, 2013
  • While NHL dithers, KHL takes stand against on-ice violence

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    By Allan Muir

    Brendan Shanahan shouldn’t have to be this busy.

    Not even three weeks into the 2013-14 season and the NHL’s chief disciplinarian already has doled out 53 games worth of suspensions and docked nearly $750,000 in pay from players who can’t figure out how to stay within the lines. And those figures are likely to rise on Tuesday after he meets with Colorado’s Cody McLeod, who was called on the carpet for boarding Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall on Thursday night.

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  • Published On Oct 19, 2013
  • SHANABANNED! Maxim Lapierre gets five games for Dan Boyle hit

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    By Allan Muir

    Max Lapierre had a choice to make as he was bearing down on Dan Boyle the other night. That he made the wrong one was pretty obvious to anyone who saw the St. Louis forward hammer Boyle from behind, driving his jaw into the lip of the boards and leaving the former All-Star unconscious on the ice.

    The cheap shot earned Lapierre a five-game suspension from NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan tonight.

    Fair? Let’s just say it was in the right ballpark, although there was an opportunity to send a stronger message of intolerance.

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  • Published On Oct 18, 2013
  • SHANABANNED! Patrick Kaleta gets 10 games for head shot on Jack Johnson

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    By Allan Muir

    By suspending Buffalo forward Patrick Kaleta for 10 games this evening, Brendan Shanahan just did everyone in the NHL a favor. Including the Sabres.

    Responding to yet another cheap shot delivered by the marginally skilled forward, this time on Columbus defender Jack Johnson, the Sheriff made the game a little safer and opened up a roster spot in Buffalo for someone who can actually play a little hockey.

    A least for the next few weeks.

    Here’s what Shanahan had to say in the video:

    “Kaleta approaches Johnson from the side and finishes a check directly to Johnson’s head. Kaleta takes an improper angle, misses Johnson’s body and does not make a full body check. Instead, he hits Johnson directly on the chin with his left shoulder.

    “No matter who delivered this hit, it would have resulted in supplemental discipline. However, the fact that it was delivered by a player who has been fined or suspended six times in the last four seasons, the last time just 21 games ago, factors heavily into the severity of the decision.”

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  • Published On Oct 15, 2013
  • SHANABANNED! Alex Edler gets three games for head shot on Tomas Hertl

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    By Allan Muir

    It probably wasn’t the worst head shot we’ve seen all season, but Alex Edler’s cheapie on Tomas Hertl on Thursday night earned the noted recidivist a three-game suspension all the same.

    The incident occurred in the second period of Vancouver’s 4-1 loss to San Jose. Hertl was pursuing the puck near the Canucks’ bench when Edler blasted him, spinning Hertl around and sending his helmet flying into the air.

    There was no penalty called on the play, but that didn’t spare Edler from Shanny’s wrath.

    “Edler does not hit Hertl squarely,” Shanahan said. “He cuts across the front of Hertl, making the head the main point of contact.

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  • Published On Oct 11, 2013
  • Toronto’s David Clarkson gets max 10-game suspension for joining brawl

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    David Clarkson was the first bench player to enter into the fray, and as such received the appropriate suspension.

    David Clarkson was the first bench player to enter into the fray, and received the appropriate ban. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    David Clarkson’s going to have to wait a month to make his regular season debut for the Maple Leafs.

    As expected, the forward has been suspended for the first 10 games, without pay, after leaving the bench to join in last night’s line brawl between Toronto and the Buffalo Sabres. He’s also out for the team’s remaining preseason schedule.

    There wasn’t a lot of room for interpretation on this one. The suspension is mandated by Rule 70.10, which states: “The first player to leave the players’ or penalty bench illegally during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation from either or both teams shall be suspended without pay for the next 10 regular League and/or playoff games of his team.”

    MUIR: Canucks suspensions show NHL’s consistent inconsistency

    Under the terms of the CBA, Clarkson will forfeit $269,230.80. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

    Clarkson will be eligible to return to the Maple Leafs’ lineup on Oct. 25 at Columbus.

    There’s no word yet from the league on a possible suspension for the man Clarkson was rushing to defend, Phil Kessel. The team’s top scorer landed at least three lumberjack swings on the legs of Buffalo’s John Scott, and received a match penalty for his efforts. He could end up in the press box for a couple of games as a result.

    MUIR: Ten things we learned from the Sabres-Maple Leafs brawl


  • Published On Sep 23, 2013
  • Canucks suspensions continue NHL’s pattern of inconsistent sentencing

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    By Allan Muir

    The fickle arm of NHL justice strikes again.

    According to Uncle Bob McKenzie, Zack Kassian will sit out the rest of the preseason along with the first five games of the regular season for the high-sticking incident that left Edmonton’s Sam Gagner with a broken jaw.

    Dale Weise, meanwhile, was suspended for the remainder of the preseason for a cheap shot delivered to the head of Taylor Hall in the same game.

    To a Canucks fan, both sentences probably seem a little harsh. To everyone else, they’re simply baffling.

    The elbow that Weise laid on Hall was clear and deliberate. He led with his forearm right up until making contact, and his target kept his head level the whole time. It’s impossible to argue a lack of intent or that the blow was influenced by a last-second move by the victim.

    This was a textbook example of the head contact the league talks about wanting to eliminate from the game, and that’s exactly what makes Weise’s penalty tough to swallow. Three preseason games serve as neither a punishment or a deterrent, and not just because there’s no telling if Weise was even scheduled to play in any of those contests. The games are meaningless and so is this suspension.

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  • Published On Sep 23, 2013
  • Rob Blake’s new job opens door for key hiring in NHL player safety

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    Rob Blake served as the Los Angeles Kings' captain from 1996-2001 and 2006-08. (AP)

    Rob Blake served as the Los Angeles Kings’ captain from 1996-2001 and 2006-08. (AP)

    By Allan Muir

    Los Angeles Kings fans can finally cheer Rob Blake again.

    At least, they can stop booing him.

    Blake, who played 14 seasons with the Kings, was named assistant general manager today by Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi. He’ll assume the role vacated earlier in the week when Ron Hextall made a lateral move to Philadelphia.

    Though homecomings are usually warmly welcomed, there’s no telling how this will go over in SoCal. Blake won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman in 1998 and served as captain from 1996-2001. But he became a whipping boy for the fans when he was dealt as a pending free agent to Colorado in 2001 and was heckled the rest of his career…even when he returned to L.A. for a two-year stint from 2006-08.

    Tough crowd.

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  • Published On Jul 18, 2013


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