September 21, 2011
Through two periods of preseason hockey, Jody Shelley(notes) of the Philadelphia Flyers had a very Jody Shelley kind of night against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday: 6 minutes and 27 seconds of ice time and 22 minutes in penalties, before he was ejected.
Boyce had his back turned at the end boards, playing the puck and eying another Flyers player. Shelley skated hard and gave him a stiff check from behind. Shelley was given five minutes for boarding, five minutes for fighting (after Jay Rosehill(notes) sought retribution) and a game misconduct. Boyce didn't return to the game in the second period.
"I think it was late for sure and my [body was facing] the wall, so it definitely was not a clean hit," said Boyce. "The game moves so fast out there that sometimes you think that it wasn't late and it was clean. That's just the speed of the game."
Boyce was defenseless on the play and Shelley drove him face first into the glass. He then had to answer to Jay Rosehill who fought the Flyers enforcer to a fairly even bout considering the amount of punches each player connected on, although it was Shelley who walked away bloody.
"Yeah you know he was in my face all game, running around," said Rosehill. "He put the guy's face to the boards like that and I just instantly wanted to grab him and away we went.
Problem No. 1 for Shelley: Brendan Shanahan(notes), the new NHL sheriff in town, just released a video this week telling players what not to do, and this hit will make a great addition to next year's clip reel.
Problem No. 2 for Shelley: The game was vs. Toronto and nationally televised, which meant a few people saw the hit and immediately wondered if this will be Shanahan's first test as player safety czar.
Prediction: We've seen the last of Jody Shelley in the preseason and won't see him in the first two games of 2011-12.
Forget the player education video and Shanahan statement-making; this hit gets a suspension no matter who's in charge, and especially given that Shelley was suspended twice last season, including for this boarding penalty on Adam McQuaid(notes):
Maybe Shanny needs to sit Shelley down with his eyelids pried open, Alex DeLarge-style.