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Shanahan rules: Brendan Smith suspended eight total games for head shot

Detroit Red Wings v New York Rangers

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Brendan Smith #2 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on September 29, 2010 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Red Wings 5-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Brendan Smith’s long-awaited suspension from NHL player safety czar Brendan Shanahan is in and it’s a lengthy and appropriate punishment.

Shanahan is suspending Smith for the remainder of the preseason as well as five regular season games for his blow to the head of Chicago’s Ben Smith. The shot to Ben’s head put him down on the ice and has him listed as “day to day” by Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville with what’s believed to be a concussion.

The suspension for Brendan is a bit awkward as he’s likely being sent back to AHL Grand Rapids meaning that the five games he’ll have to serve in the NHL will have to wait. The AHL will review his hit and decide whether or not they’ll sit him down equally when he arrives there. Brendan will give up $23,648.65 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund for his reckless play.

Smith is the eighth player suspended this preseason by Shanahan and with Smith being a rookie still, him getting this tough of a suspension is a good sign for those who want these careless plays to be punished severely. Shanahan taking this role seriously and putting the hammer down is a pleasant change for the league after Colin Campbell’s reign of error.

Smith’s head shot getting five games on top of James Wisniewski’s eight game ban for a head shot means that players had better get their play under control and take responsibility or else they’re going to do their own teams a major disservice by playing on the edge.