Sheriff Shanahan willing to suspend superstars

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Sheriff Shanahan willing to suspend superstars

You can attack NHL Sheriff Brendan Shanahan for many different things, but you can no longer say he lacks the stones to suspend one of the NHLs stars at a pivotal point in the playoffs.

Thats about as gutsy as you can get.

Anybody within shouting distance of the Liberty Bell certainly had issues with Shanahan suspending Claude Giroux for his head shot on Dainius Zubrus, and there were even whispers of a league conspiracy against the Flyers. But it was clearly a suspendable offense with a clearly agitated Giroux taking out his frustrations on the nearest Devils skater at the most opportune moment.

Shanahan has endured some verbal barbs and critical daggers after failing to suspend Shea Weber or Evgeni Malkin for borderline plays earlier in the playoffs. The criticism was pretty clear: there is a superstar caste system in place for the NHL lawmakers and they wont lay down the superstar on hockeys favored sons.

But that argument is out the window now.

Shanahan ruled courageously and correctly in sitting Giroux out for a pivotal Game 5 that ultimately led to Philadelphias elimination at the hands of New Jersey. Giroux was in the conversation for the Conn Smythe Trophy and still leads the playoff field with 17 points in 10 playoff games for the now eliminated Flyers.

Predictably the Flyers crumbled without their leader and best offensive player, and now theyll have an entire offseason to sharpen their arguments in Philly about how they got screwed royally by the league. But in truth this was Shanahan learning from going too easily on Weber earlier during the playoffs, and thats all anybody can really ask for.

Plenty of people will scream that Malkin or James Neal should have been strung up if Giroux was guilty of a suspendable offense, but hindsight is something the NHL Player Safety Department simply doesnt have.

I cant imagine what the @ replies read like in Shanahans NHL twitter account: Im outraged that Shanny wont suspend the superstars paired equally with Im outraged Shanny could suspend Giroux for a game and sentence the Flyers to playoff death. Never mind the fact that anyone in Philadelphia is letting Giroux off the hook for a poorly-timed action, Shanahan cant win the popularity battle while making difficult, correct decisions during these playoffs.

Morning Skate: Asking price on Shattenkirk should scare off Bruins

Morning Skate: Asking price on Shattenkirk should scare off Bruins

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading after watching the Boston Celtics take a hard pass on the Boogie. 
 
-- Bob McKenzie sits in with the good folks at TSN 1200 Ottawa sports radio and talks a little Claude Julien of the Montreal Canadiens

-- The Avalanche youth movement is set to begin as quickly as March 1, as Colorado may move some of its veteran players at the trade deadline. 
 
-- Ryan Johansen got snubbed in his return to Columbus for the first time as a member of the Nashville Predators. That’s too bad, but it’s also not exactly Wayne Gretzky returning to the Edmonton Oilers for the first time. 
 
-- The price tag for Kevin Shattenkirk is in and it includes a top prospect and a first-round pick, along with another piece, for a rental defenseman. That should be far too rich for the Bruins’ blood. The B's were already intent on avoiding the rental market ahead of the trade deadline, and the steep price -- even for a potentially useful short-term acquisition like the puck-moving Shattenkirk -- should make that even more of a certainty. 
 
-- Ken Campbell asks whether hockey agents have gone too far in chasing after prospective prospects before they even enter their teenage years. 

 -- Bobby Ryan has a hand injury that’s going to sideline him, another piece of bad luck for the Senators forward. 
 
-- For something completely different: On President’s Day, it seems only natural to go through the favorite Presidents in the history of the Marvel Universe.