Blog Entry

Report: Some GMs not happy with Shanahan's work

Posted on: October 9, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2011 9:03 pm

By Brian Stubits

So far, it has sure seemed that Brendan Shanahan has had a lot of support, especially from those inside the game, not just the ones commenting on it. But all is not well in the front offices.

Eric Francis reported on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada that there is a segment of the GMs who aren't in love with the tough-love suspensions.

“I spoke to almost a third of the general managers today and I was a little bit surprised to find out that there is a group of them that has gone to [NHL commissioner] Gary Bettman and [deputy commissioner] Bill Daly and made it very clear that they are very unhappy with the way that Brendan Shanahan has handled [the length] of the suspensions," Francis said.
“The [suspensions] are pretty harsh and a lot of people agree with that -- fans and media are definitely on board -- but there’s a group of GMs that have gone and complained. They wanted the bar set high -- they made that clear in their agenda in the summer. However, they didn’t want it 'doubled and tripled' in the words of one general manager who really teed off on Brendan today.
“I spent the whole week talking to as many players as I could and almost all of them agree that it’s changed the way they play the game. It’s a feeling-out process, there’s some adjustments being made, but these are the growing pains that everybody knew the NHL would have to go through when they were getting tougher on headshots."

Again, the criticism is part of the gig. Shanahan is finding out first hand what he probably already knew, it's a tough job but somebody's got to do it. But that's all noise until it comes from within. If there are executives complaining to the NHL offices, there could be some trickle-down effect to Shanahan. Either that or the response will be in line with buck up.

During the segment, Mad Mike Milbury also did a much more eloquent job of relaying his position on the discussion than he did the other day with Keith Jones on Versus.

"I don't dislike Brendan Shanahan. I may have some disagreements with the way this thing is going down. That's the first thing the league has to realize. I'm not out to get them. Nobody is out to get them. We're just concerned about the way this is all coming together. The way it's coming together for me... why are they setting the bar so high? Just call the rule the way the rule is supposed to be called. Just let everybody adjust to it."

When prompted that we need to remember the league is focusing on concussions, Milbury got to the illustration os his point in a more sane fashion.

"That's right. That's the important thing to realize. There's a real reason here. There weren't the number of concussions when I played in the league. The severity of guys who are dizzy all the time and can't function. There's nobody who is like Marc Savard, or very few who are. So there's a real slippery snake the league is trying to get ahold of. Yes they've set these things in motion on behalf of the GMs. Now they have to find the right course for it. Is he going to get critical advice from everybody? Yes he is. Let's give it about two months and 20 games and see where it all winds up.

"I don't want to see the concussions and there is danger here, but there's also danger here going the other way."

During the first intermission of the broadcast of the game between the Maple Leafs and Senators, Don Cherry took an ever-so slight moment to apologize to Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson for calling them pukes, saying they were turncoats and hyopcrites.

Asked by co-host Ron MacLean whether he had regrets about Thursday’s Coach’s Corner segment, Cherry said: "No, no -- maybe one, with the puke stuff and kids listening [to that]. That’s rude and I shouldn’t say it.”

You can watch the full Coach's Corner segment here.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 3:58 pm
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Since: Oct 6, 2007
Posted on: October 10, 2011 4:59 pm

Report: Some GMs not happy with Shanahan's work

Why do people care what Don Cherry thinks??? Is there a bigger moron on Earth than that clown. He still thinks hockey is going to go back to what it was when he coached Boston. Well that is never going to happen. He should realize it and give up on it already. The days of Terry O'Reilly and Dave "The Hammer" Schultz are over.

Since: Jun 28, 2009
Posted on: October 10, 2011 2:05 pm

Report: Some GMs not happy with Shanahan's work


You make some good points.  Perhaps Shanahan is a little too recently retired, but I think he carries a lot of weight because he was a pretty tough power forward himself, he's been on both ends - giving and getting big hits.  If a guy like Shanny says these guys should be punished severely, I would believe somebody like him over a guy like Don Cherry or Gary Bettman or a lot of the GMs.  Most of them never played hockey the way it's been in the NHL the last decade or two, or some of them didn't even play at all.  So, I wouldn't listen to the bleatings of a biased GM over a guy who's been through all the wars on the NHL rinks.
GMs?  You want to keep your players?  Have them play a tough but fair game of hockey without resorting to cheap shots or head shots.  (Yes, Mario Lemieux, I'm including you in this regard with Matt Cooke since you've done a lot of whining about cheap shots yet you employ one of the dirtiest players of them all).

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: October 10, 2011 8:52 am

Report: Some GMs not happy with Shanahan's work

HOCKEYBOB... where are you man?
haha, yeah, Shanny's in for the inevitable backlash.   Gotta love the gms, they were crying about headshots and now they're crying about suspensions.   Plenty of stuff going on here, it'll be interesting to see how it plays out.  

Money is the issue, and pts in the standings are money.    GMs were losing pts from losing players from headshots, and now you have gms losing pts because they have suspended players.    There's no way to make them happy, and I'm surprised the BOG didn't focus more on dealing with the gms in all of this.  Maybe they did, but they didn't make any public statement.   It's only going to get worse for Shanahan too.    He's too soon retired from the game imo, as I've thought from the start, please don't mistake that for comment saying I wish Campbell had the job.    Should have been a committee with a no-name lawyer as the spokesperson imo.

More perception problems are on the way when he has to give out suspensions related to a hit/injury to one of his buddies (too close to the players).

I think his ego will get the best of him and he'll back down from the pressure willingly so he still has a chance to be one of the top couple names in the game, if he doesn't and he fights back at the BOG and gms and gets himself fired, I'll have new found respect for him.   This guy wanted to be head of the NHLPA, I doubt he'll want to give up a prominent league post.   I'll expect the suspensions to slow down soon.   Too bad, if he can keep this pace up (as much as I hate some of it), he has a chance for the league office and him to really clean up a bunch of the dangerous, dirty, and most of all, useless and unnecessary hits.  

Still only a handful of gms probably pressuing him, when more of the really big franchises have a gripe, it'll be pretty interesting to see how the suspensions are handed out.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: October 10, 2011 8:41 am

Report: Some GMs not happy with Shanahan's work

I spent the whole week talking to as many players as I could and almost all of them agree that it’s changed the way they play the game.
Yeah, it's making them be a little more careful, and think twice before smashing mil grade body armor into someone's head. Mission accomplished!

Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: October 10, 2011 3:29 am

Report: Some GMs not happy with Shanahan's work

You can't please everyone all of the time however feel that the Shanahan has created a lot of controversy un necessarily with some of the decisions he has made.

Unfortunately, you need all the GMs to back up the minority and collectively go to the NHL commissioner's office and present a united front.

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: October 10, 2011 12:58 am
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Since: Nov 9, 2009
Posted on: October 9, 2011 11:46 pm

Report: Some GMs not happy with Shanahan's work

I agree with having bigger suspensions with the illegal hits. So I am not complaining about the suspensions. I do understand where some GMs are coming from. However the only modification I would recommend to Shanny is come down a little less hard on first time offenders but really penalize the repeaters

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: October 9, 2011 11:04 pm

Report: Some GMs not happy with Shanahan's work

Regardless of whether any of us agree, or disagree with whats happening.  Anytime you try, and change the way something works your going to have resistance whether it's a good change or not.  I'd find it hard to bealive that Shanahan wouldn't of been expecting this, and probably worse.  The GM's are in a hard spot also.  They have no choice, but to say/do anything that improves player protection.  At the same time they don't want to alienate fans by changing the game to much.  Everyone involved in this is going to be walking a very thin line for next few years.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: October 9, 2011 10:16 pm

Report: Some GMs not happy with Shanahan's work

brendan shanahan is a turd...i wish he and the weasel bettman find themselves covered in siafu...only the most painfull death will do for those assbags...bettman has been trying to ruin the game for more than a decade and shatinhishand is a turncoat whiny dungburger.

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