Different but relevant

Somewhere in his home, Brendan Shanahan was wearing his owners-only Phoenix Coyotes footy pajamas after he banished conflict of interest on skates, Rusty Klesla, to a game in the press box. While he stirred the powder in his bedtime chocolate milk, he figured he would check in on the Flyers-Devils game and see how the second period was going to wrap up before he hit the hay.

Brendan Shanahan never drank that chocolate milk. Rather, he crawled under his bed and cried. He doesn’t hate all Mondays but he does hate tomorrow.

With time expiring in the second period, Martin Brodeur left the trapezoid to play the puck up ice. In the fateful corner, Mr. Official on-duty (who shall remain nameless) missed Brodeur touching the puck in the no-no zone, thus playing it up ice for the Devils. He of all integrity and Philadelphia’s local best player in the world, Claude Giroux, noticed this event and encouraged the official to make the corresponding illegal play call.

When the official did not oblige Mr. Giroux, Claude, a name not shared with any famous NHL rats, skated down the ice and brushed by the chin of Devils forward Dainius Zubrus who was once described by Mike Milbury as being “not North American.”* This incident clearly had nothing to do with Claude being frustrated about what transpired earlier in the shift and was totally independent of any other events in the game. So much so that after it happened, Claude, with Mr. Zubrus on the ice, definitely apologized immediately and didn’t immediately go after Mr. Official to berate him over the earlier confusion regarding the existence of trapezoids.

Wait… I don’t think it happened that way.

For what it’s worth, I’m no Philadelphia Flyers fan, but I would absolutely buy a Claude Giroux jersey. I think he’s awesome. This play, however, was all kinds of dirty. What pushed it from ‘bad’ to ‘dirty’ (regardless of whether or not the trapezoid call should have been made) was the exchange beforehand with the official. In @NHLShanahan speak, that is intent mostly brought about by rage and is consequently a punishable offense. I support that interpretation. I think this is a suspendable hit.

Unfortunately, you and I both know this will never happen, dear reader. Giroux will pay his fine of $2,500 and get on with his life. Quite frankly, he’s Claude Giroux. He’s a superstar. The Magna Carta doesn’t apply to the NHL and he will rule above the serfs of the world (read: fourth liners) so long as the status is quo. Combine that with the fact that Zubrus appears to be OK and we have a pricetag worthy of credit card roulette for an elite NHLer, not a punishment. That’s just how it goes sometimes in this league. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. The real issue at hand here is whether Giroux will be paying with Visa or Mastercard.

I’ll gladly be wrong on this one, but I doubt it.

I think this was a suspendable hit. Do you?

*Mike Milbury never called him this as far as I know