In homage to the brilliant Fire Joe Morgan:
In response to Brad Marchand's clip of Sami Salo, Brendan Shanahan issued a five-game suspension to Marchand and posted the following video on NHL.com
The Bruins have attained a level of self-importance so great that they now feel it's necessary that their opinions become widely-distributed official press releases. Most teams whine behind closed doors or hijack a question during a press conference to complain about a league ruling or an official's decision, not the Bruins.
While we respect the process that the Department of Player Safety took to reach their decision regarding Brad’s hit on Sami Salo, we are very disappointed by their ruling.
Ah, the classic, "I'm not saying, I'm just saying..." opening.
While we understand that the Department of Safety is an evolving entity, it is frustrating that there are clear comparable situations that have not been penalized or sanctioned in the past.
In fact, many of those comparable situations involved Bruins committing questionable acts over a number of years. At no point in those past years have any of their players been suspended for those questionable acts. Other than a one-game suspension for Milan Lucic for his hit on Zach Rinadlo this season, at no time were they informed that the league placed their team and players on a level playing field with the other twenty-nine NHL franchises, so they were stunned to learn that Bruins were eligible for multi-game suspensions.
It is equally disappointing that Brad sought the counsel of the Department this past Fall for an explanation and clarification regarding this type of scenario so as to adjust his game if necessary.
The rest of the NHL and the men behind QMJHL education policy find it disappointing as well. Was Marchand not capable of comprehending the explanations in the multitude of videos distributed by the league prior to the season?
He was advised that such an incident was not sanctionable if he was protecting his own safety.
The Bruins were very happy at that time. It was their understanding that they were given special information. Brad spoke with the league about dirty hits and they gave him an excuse for his dirty play in advance...
Given our feeling that Brad was indeed protecting himself...
...and Brad chose to use that excuse in defense of this dirty play. The Bruins are beside themselves that their plan was ruined by Brendan Shanahan's inability to play ball.
...and certainly did not clip the player as he contacted the player nowhere near the knee or quadricep...
Certainly not. Not that Marchand didn't try to take out Salo's knees on the hit, but he got far too low to hit him anywhere near the knees or quadriceps once Salo turned away, as all players do in self-defense.
...today’s ruling is not consistent with what the Department of Player Safety communicated to Brad.
The Bruins are outraged that they no longer hold special status with the NHL's Operations Group. They were given an excuse to use in just this situation and it didn't work. The Bruins aren't being treated the same way they were under Colin Campbell and that makes them angry.