Intentional Vs Unintentional - Jody Shelly Suspension

On December 13, 2010 the NHL handed down a 2 game suspension to Jody Shelly for his hit on Adam Mcquaid during the Boston game this past Saturday.  The hit from behind looked bad but after watching the replay it looked like Shelly lost his footing and fell into Mcquaid unintentionally. How often do we see players racing for the puck on an icing call and crash into the boards?  The debate continues on whether the NHL should bring in no-touch icing but until they decide, these incidents will continue to happen and injury is certainly a factor. Mcquaid did return to the game and stated that Shelly made several attempts to apologize during the game and after. Obviously the NHL came to the conclusion that the hit was suspension worthy.

Alex Semin of the Washington Capitals crossed- checked John-Michael Liles of the Colorado Avalanche in the head intentionally and with force but only received a five minute cross-checking penalty and 10 minute misconduct. Semin was later fined by the NHL but no suspension was given.  The NHL has been inconsistent in handing out suspensions this season and it makes me wonder if they base their decisions on the intention behind the infraction or if they base it on who the player is. To me, Semin’s  cross-check was much worse than the hit by Shelly.  The penalty and game misconduct given to Shelly at the time of the incident most likely should have been the end of it. Shelly won’t be in the line-up for the much anticipated Penguins game tonight or the Canadiens game on Wednesday but will return for the Rangers game on Saturday.

Do players with a reputation or previous infractions need to be more aware of what they are doing on the ice than the superstars? Controversial but this particular comparison tells me that they do.

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