By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
Claude Julien knows its going to be a bit of a safe new world in the NHL this season as players, coaches and managers attempt to adjust to the new head shotboarding punishments being handed out by NHL Senior VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan.
Shanny isnt pulling any punches, and has handed out over 20 games of suspensions and 500,000 in lost game salary before the NHL preseason is even two weeks old. The biggest and most meaningful was the eight game regular season suspension for Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski that will cost more than a half million dollars in salary as a repeat offender.
The NHL isnt going to turn into a warm and fuzzy game of tiddlywinks anytime soon, but the belief is that setting the tone now will lessen some of the catastrophic injuries suffered by players like Marc Savard over the last few seasons.
Its like anything else. When youre trying to insert new rules youve got to go not overboard but youve really got to go to the extremes to send a message. Right now I really think hes sending a message, said Julien. At least hes bringing awareness that theyre serious about it. As a player youve got to be careful how youre going to be hitting guys with those head shots.
Eventually everybody will get comfortable with it and it will make things better. Thats how you need to put in the new rule. If you put something in and dont go to the extremes to apply then there will always be that gray area. Im supporting what Shanahan is doing right now. Hopefully the players understand that hes not trying to punish them or make a name for himself. Its about trying to clean up that part of our game that needs to be cleaned up.
Thats what everyone is hoping for, and so far everything Shanahan has done is coming up aces for player safety and bettering the game. On to the links:
Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski spoke with Aaron Portzline, and is looking ahead rather than dwelling on the slap down he received from the league this week.
The Vancouver Canucks will be recognizing local heroes that distinguished themselves during the Game 7 riots, and rightfully so given how many good people in Vancouver had nothing to do with the post-game chaos.
The Buffalo News wonders whether the Sabres will see the good or bad Brad Boyes once the season begins. He could be a key component for a loaded Sabres roster heading into an important season.
The USA Today has a photo gallery of the suspensions handed out from Brendan Shanahan thus far, and its an impressive compilation.
The winding road of recovery for Sidney Crosby as detailed in an excellent piece on Grantland.com yesterday afternoon.
Kudos to hockey humorist Down Goes Brown for satirizing the reign of Colin Campbell by imagining what his video breaking down the Matt CookeMarc Savard head shot would have looked like.
For something completely different: Joe Posnanski from Sports Illustrated does a great job of painting last nights baseball picture as one of the greatest regular season nights in Major League history.