December 10, 2011
You knew that Andy Sutton was in for a big suspension for his leaping head hit on Alex Ponikarovsky from last Thursday's game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Edmonton Oilers, and not just because his hearing was an in-person.
There was also the fact that it was Andy Sutton, who has something of a history of objectionable hits, and would boast the distinction of being the first player suspended twice in the Shanahan Era. Double digits seemed like a distinct possibility.
The results are finally in. Was this indeed the five-point palm exploding heart technique of Shanabans? Not really. Sutton will miss the next eight 8 games.
Two issues with this: first, there's a grammatical error in the script. It's "the degree in which Sutton's skates come off the ice," not comes. For shame.
Second (and much less tongue-in-cheek), while 8 games is a lengthy suspension, I'm of the mind that this was a bit of a copout.
Granted, the fact that Ponikarovsky was uninjured on the play factors into things, but I genuinely expected Shanahan to come down a Hell of a lot harder on the first guy that forced him to make two videos, especially when the sequel features a freaking highlight package of Sutton's offenses.
After spending the first two months of the season setting a precedent for his tenure with stiff bans and a focus on getting guys the second time around, this was Shanahan's chance to really establish the dangers of repeat offending, and I don't think he did it.