Brendan Shanahan Suspends Letourneau-Leblond

Brendan Shanahan still needs to announce disciplinary action against Philadelphia Flyers forward Jody Shelley, but he has made a ruling on Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond’s hit from behind in a game against the Vancouver Canucks last night.  Not only has he made a ruling, but he’s done so in stunning fashion.

The video above is exactly the sort of thing NHL disciplinary procedure has lacked over the entirety of its history.  Rather than a press release, we get a video of the league disciplinarian explaining the suspension himself.  He walks the viewer through the hit in slow motion, breaking down the play in a manner that shows not just the instant of the hit but the context involved.  He clearly explains the NHL rule that was violated.  Then, Shanahan also acknowledges that the player’s suspension history played a role in his decision.

This is precisely the kind of video that will take away the arbitrary nature of the disciplinary process and improve transparency – making it clear to everyone involved (including fans and media) exactly what happened and why.  If we can take this early step as a sign of what is to come under Brendan Shanahan’s watch, there’s every reason for optimism.