Came away with some interesting tidbits on my weekly show “Murphy’s Hockey Law” this Saturday. NHL Vice President of Player Safety & Hockey Operations Damian Echevarrieta joined me to give a behind the scenes look on how suspensions and fines are determined. He also gave some interesting insight into what he agreed was one of the toughest decisions he and NHL Vice President of Hockey and Business Development and Director of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan have had to make and that is the 15-game suspension handed down to Shawn Thornton in December. As Echevarrieta pointed out, suspending a guy they want other players to emulate was very difficult.
“The thing that really killed us is that we love Shawn. We think he’s the kind of hockey player that gets it. He has respect for his opponents; he plays a really hard physical game but he plays within the limits. So it was tough to suspend a guy that we a lot of respect for and that we use as a poster boy to say you can still play tough hockey and we’re not ruining the game for guys like Shawn Thornton in the league. So that was difficult for us because everybody thinks we came down hard on that guy and we’re actually big fans of his.”
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