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)