The noon number: 15

15.


That is 15 games in suspensions already dished out by new NHL Senior VP of Hockey Ops and Player Safety Brendan Shanahan, 5 to Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond for his hit on Vancouver's own Matt Clackson and 10 to Jody Shelley for a hit on Darryl Boyce.

It wasn't a secret last season that the NHL tended to be lenient in dishing out player suspensions. When a guy was hit with a heavy amount of games, it was a random occurrence. The penalties never matched the crime, but, for once, it now looks like the NHL is on the right track with Shanahan.

If you haven't seen them, check out the two videos posted on the NHL.com webpage by Brendan Shanahan and linked to his Twitter account. They give very detailed run-downs of what the rule is, what happened on the play, and all the factors that went into the amount of games Shanahan suspended the player for.

This is all very important for the Canucks, since they play a style of hockey that banks on their powerplay to succeed. They don't use a goon to deter players from hits (evidently, it didn't work for Toronto, because Jay Rosehill was on the ice with Boyce when Shelley made the hit) and instead focus on the best powerplay in the league last season. A good powerplay is your best enforcer. Players who have little value more than their fists and the odd dirty hit will end up seeing a lot less ice-time for their infractions.

In the Shelley case, it's been speculated that, being out for the remainder of the pre-season, he won't be able to hold onto his job, and for cap purposes, Philadelphia might have to let him go. I can't think that the situation with PL3 is much different in Calgary except he won't get let go to cap purposes. Calgary have a lot of marginal forwards jockeying for those depth spots, and, as a MoneyPuck advocate, I hope that they find another Tim Jackman instead of dressing a goon each night. (As a Canuck fan and therefore a Flames hater, I hope they dress PL3)

Shanahan, with consistent rulings, is ushering in an era which I hope will continue to systematically eliminate the specialized fighter. Despite their being four fights in the Canucks tilt with the Oilers last night, I think we're on the right track. More fans and media are questioning the worth of the hockey pugilist, and that sort of thinking is already on the minds of a few heads in General Manager's offices. It won't be long until the rulebook gurus catch hold of the new mentality as well.

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