Andy Sutton will likely face the Shanahammer once again after his hit on Alexei Ponikarovsky Wednesday night at Rexall. There's no doubt about the intent of this hit. The 6'6" Sutton left his feet to make the hit and aimed directly for Ponikarovsky's head. Sutton was whistled for a two-minute boarding minor, but I'm in agreement with Ray Ferraro in the clip above, I have no idea how he avoided a major and a game misconduct in that situation. Sutton has a long history of hits ranging from questionable to downright dirty, including this filthy headshot on Gabriel Landeskog earlier this year, a hit which landed Sutton a 5-game suspension:
He's got a lowlight reel of dangerous boarding hits in his past as well:
Shanahan used Sutton's history in making the decision on the Landeskog hit, there's little doubt that same (and now more recent) history will come into play for this hit. In the aftermath of the Landeskog hit, I guessed at a five or six-game suspension. Given the dangerous nature of this hit, the obvious targeting of Ponikarovski's head, and his history, I think Shanahan will come down with an 8 or 10 game suspension this time. It won't matter. Sutton's history as a player shows that these types of plays are a core part of his repertoire and a suspension only serves to delay the amount of time before he can make a hit like this again.