Brendan Shanahan issued his first suspension in his new role as Senior Vice President of Player Safety by suspending Calgary Flames forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond for five games (four preseason games and one regular season game) for boarding Vancouver's Matt Clackson during the Canucks 4-3 win on Tuesday night.
Because Letourneau-Leblond was suspended back in October he is considered a repeat offender under the rules of the current CBA, while the suspension will cost him over $6,000 in salary.
Along with the announcement of the suspension, the NHL also released a video that features Shanahan, who is replacing Colin Campbell in charge of player discipline, breaking down the play frame-by-frame and explaining why it was against the rules and why the suspension is as long as iti is, which is something we're not used to seeing from the NHL (and I like it).
Letourneau-Leblond recieved only a minor penalty during the game.
Shanahan said in the video, which you can watch below, that Clackson had his back turned toward Leblond prior to the contact, and that he did not put himself in that position immediatly prior to the check, which meant Leblond had plenty of time to avoid the hit or minimize it.
And this from the NHL:
"Letourneau-Leblond took a direct route toward Clackson, hit him squarely from behind into the boards and drove through the check high and hard," Shanahan said. "Clackson's back was turned toward Letourneau-Leblond well before the contract, requiring that Letourneau-Leblond avoid or minimize the check completely. He did neither."During Wednesday's action there were two other boarding calls that are sure to get at least a look from Shanahan and the league as Philadelphia's Jody Shelley was ejected from the Flyers game against Toronto. Detroit's Danny Cleary was also issued a five-minute major for boarding Pittsburgh's Philip Samuelsson in the third period of the Red Wings 3-2 loss to the Penguins, a play that both Cleary and his head coach, Mike Babcock, felt was a clean hit based on a video the NHL sent out earlier in the day showing examples of what are considered to be illegal (and legal) hits.