Another day, another fairly easy call for NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan: Minnesota Wild forward Brad Staubitz has been suspended for the rest of the preseason and three regular-season games for a hit from behind on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Cody Bass during a preseason game on Friday night.
Here's Mr. NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety; still can't tell if these videos being so commonplace is a good sign or a bad sign for the NHL in September:
So what does this mean, and what does Staubitz think about the suspension?
From the NHL:
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Staubitz will forfeit $9,324.33. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
At 4:24 of the third period, Staubitz hit Bass from behind and into the glass. Bass was injured on the play. Staubitz was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for checking from behind.
Staubitz will miss regular-season games Oct. 8 vs. Columbus, Oct. 10 at the New York Islanders and Oct. 11 at Ottawa.
Michael Russo of the Star Tribune got the Staubitz side of the story earlier on Monday, before the decision:
"I was on the forecheck, and it's obviously not the outcome I wanted from the hit. I say I play hard but not dirty. ... You've just got to be conscious all the time of what you're doing. It's tough. You've got to play hard, especially in the role that I'm in. It's a narrow line."
"Start of the new year, I want to be playing, I want to be in the mix. I want what's fair though. As long as there's consistency with this now."
If you ignore the preseason — and who doesn't? — there a little range established already for Sheriff Shanny.
Jody Shelley, a three-time repeat offender, was given five regular-season games. Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, who only had a one-game suspension for instigating on his record, was given one regular-season game. Now Staubitz, a repeat offender from 2009, falls in the middle at three regular-season games.
But again: This is a player who averaged 6:30 per night in 71 games. As Lambert pointed out this morning, these are the tap-ins; the tougher calls will arrive if players like Danny Briere, Joe Thornton, Shane Doan or Dany Heatley — all suspended last season — must feel the power of the Shanahammer.