Welcome to the age of “heightened sensitivity to the well-being” of NHL goalies
Did Brendan Shanahan get new marching orders at today’s GM meetings when it comes to protecting goalies?
Did you just throw acid in your face to avoid reading another post on this topic?
To answer the first question, it sure sounds like it. Shanahan attended today’s meeting in Toronto and said afterward that everyone “had a really good conversation” about the goalie-safety issue which came to the forefront after Milan Lucic collided with Ryan Miller on Saturday.
Now, in my experience, a “really good conversation” is a nice way of saying, “things got pretty heated.” (For example, “Rick had a really good conversation with his wife after he came back from Vegas without his wedding ring.”)
While I doubt anyone was throwing tables and chairs around, Shanahan clearly heard from parties who thought Lucic got off too easily.
“The general managers expressed to me the importance of all the players on the ice, but also the extreme importance of the goaltender,” said Shanahan.
Shanahan was then asked, if the same Lucic-Miller play were to happen again, would the player in Lucic’s position be suspended?
“I look at each and every play individually,” he said. “All I can say rather than going back and retrying any of my old cases or any cases from previous years, I think that some people in the room felt it should have been a suspension and some people in the room felt that the right decision was made. Regardless, going forward certainly the direction and the conversation of the issue was certainly of a heightened sensitivity to the well-being of our goaltenders. As I’ve said many times, I’m not a policy maker, I’m a policy enforcer.”
Sounds like a yes to me. Otherwise Shanahan would have just said no, Lucic still wouldn’t be suspended. Instead, he said, “I’m not a policy maker, I’m a policy enforcer.”
So let’s put this in our pocket for the next time a goalie skates out of his crease and gets run over. Just because Lucic got off the hook with a minor penalty doesn’t mean the next guy will.