November 25, 2011
To steal a line from Brendan Shanahan(notes), as the video shows, New York Rangers forward Andre Deveaux's(notes) elbow to the head of Tomas Fleischmann(notes) of the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night was nothing short of reckless and the type of hit that's going to get a Thanksgiving Day phone call from the NHL:
Deveaux, for his part, received a five-minute major for a blow to the head and an attempt to injure match penalty. On Friday, Deveaux was also given a three-game suspension.
From the NHL:
New York Rangers forward Andre Deveaux has been suspended, without pay, for three games for delivering an illegal check to the head of Florida forward Tomas Fleischmann during NHL Game #307 Wednesday night in Sunrise, Fla., the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Deveaux will forfeit $8,513.52. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
The 27-year old Deveaux has played 31 career NHL games and accumulated 104 PIMs. It's these kind of hits from players like Deveaux that will see the effects of the Shanahammer, no matter if it's a first-time offense. As Shanahan told ESPN's Pierre LeBrun earlier this season, forcing players to change the way they go about delivering hits is what he's trying to accomplish with the new Department of Player Safety:
"I still believe in the effectiveness of one-, two- or three-game suspensions if warranted. I've never said that those are gone," said Shanahan. "What I'm trying to do here is make the game safer, change player behavior, that's my focus. My focus isn't on punishing people. It's about making the game safer."
Fleischmann returned to the game in the third period after passing a baseline test and took part in the Panther's morning skate on Friday. Head Coach Kevin Dineen indicated that Fleischmann should be good to go as they prepare for the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight.
UPDATE: Here's Shanahan's explanation, along with our first blooper from the discipline czar who mistakenly says the game was Tuesday night, when it was actually Wednesday: