Let me first start out by stating that I appreciate and commend everything Brendan Shanahan has done in being a big part of the NHL.
Whether it was as a talented player or rule modifier hosting the "Shanahan Summit" during the lockout, or even as Vice President of Hockey and Business Development. He has done more in these capacities to help and promote the great game of hockey than any other player, past or present, that I can think of. I think Brendan has found himself in a tough place recently, though. About a week ago, he had an opportunity to send a tough message about needless violence to Shea Weber who, at the end of game one against the Detroit Red Wings, tried to punch and then slam the head of Henrik Zetterberg. Shanahan decided to just fine Weber 2500.
The uproar from fans and the media was instantaneous. It became a NHL public relations nightmare. Later it was learned that had Zetterberg been injured on the play, there would have been a suspension.
Zetterberg, a teammate of Shanahan for a few seasons, said that, and I'm paraphrasing here, "they had an opportunity to set the bar, and they did" meaning they set the bar pretty low and as a result there has been an escalation of incidents on the ice. I think those words from a former teammate hurt Shanny.
Which brings us to Andrew Shaw. Shanahan now has another chance to send a message, and it's a severe one to Mr. Shaw. I'm not going to discuss the intricacies of the collision behind the net. Bottom line is that Shaw can't even go near the goaltender in a situation like that. Nothing good can ever come out of it. But he was given a five-minute major for charging at the time. That is a potential game-changer in any game. Phoenix did score one goal on this power play and they could have had more. And he was kicked out of the contest. That was for more than half of the game.
I could certainly see Shaw getting a one-game suspension, which in the playoffs sends a pretty clear message. But to suspend a player for what could be the rest of the series, after having witnessed what has gone on in a lot of these playoff games, is certainly disappointing, and it feels as if Shaw is being made an example by the NHL. But he'll take his medicine, be a better player for it, and hopefully the Blackhawks can win without his energy and enthusiasm.