In today’s roundup of notable NHL morning news: The latest suspension from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan…Mixed reviews for Shanahan’s moves thus far…Flyers Simmonds won’t face discipline for supposed homophobic slur…London police may have culprit in “banana scandal”…Brian Rolston set to return to action…or Fans pack arena in Kansas City for Penguins-Kings game…Who plays on Eric Staal’s wing?
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox reports of “indications” some NHL general managers believe new NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan may be stepping beyond his boundaries with his recent suspensions.
VANCOUVER SUN: Cam Cole wonders how long Shanahan will continue laying down the stiff suspensions, if he’ll target star players with the same punishments, and the reaction from general managers if star players are given lengthy suspensions.
NEW YORK POST: reports Martin Brodeur isn’t a fan of the recent head shot bans, suggesting the lengthy suspensions aren’t good for the game.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: reports the Sabres have mixed opinions on Shanahan’s efforts, agreeing with the two-game suspension levied upon teammate Brad Boyes for his head shot on Maple Leaf Joe Colborne, but were unhappy Leafs forward Colby Armstrong pummeled Sabres center Paul Gaustad from behind and received no discipline.
RDS.CA: reports Josh Gorges and Mathieu Darche of the Montreal Canadiens praised Shanahan’s efforts thus far, calling it a step in the right direction.
KUKLA’S KORNER: Shanahan suspended Anaheim Ducks forward J.F. Jacques for the remainder of the preseason and five regular season games for leaving the bench during a recent Ducks-Canucks game during a legal line change for the purpose of starting a fight with Canuck Mike Duco (video included).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shanahan will be damned if he maintains the hard line on head shots and hitting from behind, and damned if he doesn’t. It was only a matter of time until Shanahan’s suspensions resulted in some blowback. I certainly hope he’s allowed to continue to bring down the hammer, not just on marginal players, but on stars as well who violate these rules. If we want to get dirty hits out of the game, allowing Shanahan to do his job is the only way.
PHILLY.COM: reports Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds won’t be penalized for his alleged homophobic slur levied at NY Rangers forward Sean Avery in a recent Flyers-Rangers game. The league cited lack of evidence for its decision.
NATIONAL POST: Bruce Arthur believes the NHL can do more to stop homophobic slurs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Arthur. While it is inconclusive what Simmonds said, there’s no denying gay taunts and insults are tossed around a lot in the heat of the game. While most players aren’t bothered by them and laugh them off, those taunts are for homosexuals every bit as hateful as hurling racial epithets or insults at a player like Simmonds.
LONDON FREE PRESS: reports the London police have a suspect in their search for the fan who threw a banana at Simmonds in a recent NHL preseason game.
RALEIGH NEWS AND OBSERVER: reports the Carolina Hurricanes are still trying to find the right wingers for team captain Eric Staal’s line.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes have bolstered their defensive depth, but their offensive depth is another matter, and one which could prevent them from reaching the playoffs this season.
NEW YORK POST: reports Brian Rolston is getting closer to fully recovery from a groin injury and joining the NY Islanders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Rolston can make a full recovery, he could provide the Isles with that veteran experience at forward some folks seem to believe they need at forward.
KANSASCITY.COM: reports hockey fans in Kansas City packed the Sprint Center for a Pittsburgh Penguins-LA Kings game, but there’s no urgency to move an NHL team to the city.