Chicago Sun-Times

Blackhawks rookie Andrew Shaw suspended three games for hit on Coyotes goalie Mike Smith

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The wait is finally over. And Andrew Shaw didn't receive any good news Tuesday afternoon.

The Blackhawks rookie has been suspended three games, starting with Game 3 at the United Center, for his head-to-mask hit on Phoenix Coyotes goalies Mike Smith in Game 2.

Shaw had a phone hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan at 1 p.m. Monday. The ruling came out more than 24 hours later as he apparently waited to hear more about Smith's situation.

Smith finished Game 2 after taking the hit, which included a spinning, glove-throwing fall to the ice some saw as embellishment on his part. Shaw received a five-minute major penalty for charging and a game misconduct.

Smith said Saturday night after Game 2 through the team's staff that he was fine and 100 percent. But he didn't practice Monday before the team left for Chicago.

Smith then took part in the Coyotes' morning skate on Tuesday, but was not made available to the media afterward because of "extreme circumstances," the team said.

Coach Dave Tippett reiterated that Smith was "fine" enough to finish Game 2, but was very vague when pressed about Smith's situation. He's officially a game-time decision.

However, after the suspension was announced, TSN's Darren Dreger reported Tuesday that Smith will play in Game 3 against the Hawks, but if he was unable to, Shaw would have been suspended the rest of the series.

In his suspension video announcement, Shanahan said he took into consideration that Smith finished the game and suffered no injury.

NHL rules state that when a major penalty and a game misconduct are assessed against a player who committed a foul that resulted in an injury to the head of an opponent, an automatic fine is imposed and the player can be subject to supplemental discipline.

Shanahan ruled that Shaw did not make a "reasonable" effort to avoid contact with Smith and that it was his left shoulder that made contact with Smith's head.

"The contact Shaw makes with Smith is not incidental, rather it is a forceful blow delivered by Shaw's shoulder to Smith's chin," Shanahan said. "Also, in our opinion, Shaw does not make a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.

"This is not a case of a skater and goaltender colliding while pursuing a loose puck. Shaw skates a considerable distance and hits the head of a stationary goaltender who has possession of the puck."

Shaw said before the ruling came out that he felt his hearing went well.

What did he tell Shanahan?

"That I tried getting out of the way," Shaw said. "There wasn't an intent of hitting him. It was more of I didn't have enough time to get out of the way. I let him know that next time I'll go in there with a little more control."

(Image source: AP)

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blatant hit to the head????? did tipidiot even look at the replays???

This is a joke. It's clear that they are trying to milk a suspension out of this. If Shanahan does not see through this he is a bigger joke than I thought he was.

Anyone attending the Blackhawks game tonight should make your own Emmy statues and bring them to celebrate Mike Smith's tremendous acting job.

This is gamesmanship - trying to deflect the Blackhawks momentum. This is ridiculous. He barely touched him. I have seen some other hits in games that did not receive any suspensions that were a lot worse. Wasn't Shanahan a Red Wing? Just saying.

In the first 10 minutes after this decision was posted to the website there were over 100 comments. While I didn't actually count and tabulate them, I would estimate that 99% of them disagreed with the terms of this suspension. Amazingly these comments were taken down or otherwise simply vanished. Like "Peggy" says ... they must have "computer problem".

I'll say the same thing here that I did there:

"Mr. Shanahan ... Please resign IMMEDIATELY. You and the "department of player safety" are a joke!"

Shaw is clearly letting up as you can clearly see by his lack of speed going around the net and his weight clearly leaning backwards. If he wanted to
hurt him he would be leaning forward. One game was the appropriate suspension. Based on other suspensions or lack of suspensions, 3 games was totally inconsistent and is a
make up for Keith's 5 game suspension.

He deserves more than a 3 game suspension. Im from chicago and both coach and play hockey. Have any of you ever been hit in the head by a 200lb rookie who cant get out of the way or control his direction? Oh, wait, maybe because your reaction to the decision you have been hit in the head too many times!!!

Ridiculous. Shaw was going for the puck and the goalie was occupying the entire space behind the net. Shaw went so far to the back of the net he was against the boards. What's he required to do? Stop and wait for the goalie indefinitely? Great, we can now have goalies hold the puck to slow down the game.

From a Stars fan who has a personal connection to Smitty (and still likes him, even in Phoenix):

This suspension is nuts. Shaw took a bad line skating after the puck and incidentally hit Smith. Minor penalty is all. Perhaps he should have gone after Smith with a roundhouse, then beat his head into the glass so that he and Shea Weber would be still be playing.

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About the blogger

Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools. Follow him on Twitter:@adamjahns



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on April 17, 2012 12:30 PM.

Sean O'Donnell, Jamal Mayers reflect on testy playoffs was the previous entry in this blog.

Dave Tippett Q & A before Game 3 against Blackhawks is the next entry in this blog.

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