Brendan Shanahan, enjoy your ride. I ain't gonna be easy. Hits like these will haunt you.
As the new Dean of Discipline, Shanahan seems supremely suited to handle Rule 48 and any others to come. He played the game the way every hockey fan wishes every player would. He scored, he passed, he hit.
Oh, boy, did he hit! Shanny rocked a good few guys in his day, back when the game was played the proper way... in the '90's. Guys named Probert, Domi, Fleury (Theo, not Marc Andre), and Stevens (Kevin, not Scott) policed the game, just by stepping on the ice. Some were deft with the puck, others not, but all capable of inflicting pain upon their opponents, both physically and mentally.
Columbus used to have this guy named Jody Shelley, who had a bit of that spirit in him. You may not have noticed him, because his name was rarely on the "good" part of the scoresheet. His simple presence kept the game honest and clean. His face (mostly scar tissue), frame (big), and stride (thundering towards an unsuspecting opponent) kept his squad's swift skaters and skilled scorers safe. Shanahan played with several comparable guys.
Let's hope that when his reign starts, Mr. Shanahan remembers his playing days. Let us pray that he remembers the difference between a good blindside hit, and a malicious shot to the head with intent to injure. The hit in question was more of the former than the latter.
Aaron Rome was a Blue Jacket for a bit, alternating between C-Bus and Springfield. Aaron Rome is a solid NHL Defenseman. Aaron Rome missed out on having his name on the Stanley Cup as a member of the Anaheim Ducks. Aaron Rome has a wife and son.
Aaron Rome is not a dirty player.
Aaron Rome's hit on Nathan Horton did not deserve a four game suspension.
The NHL is becoming soft. I'm not one to take concussions lightly, throughout my youth and beer-league hockey days, I've experienced many concussions. Some result in minor headaches, others can leave you in loopy-ville for a long while. Nathan Horton will be in loopy-ville for a while, but not because of any part of Aaron Rome's anatomy. Horton was hurt when his head struck the ice.
Rome deserved a one game suspension. Not because he blind-sided a player, but because he left his feet to blind-side a player. Rule one in checking is: keep your hands down. Rule two is: keep your feet on the ice. Breaking rule two earns you a game.
Rule 48 says that you can't hit another player in the head. Violate Rule 48 and earn yourself a few games in the press box. Aaron Rome is going to be in the press box for a few games. Aaron Rome will be in that box for the rest of the finals... a finals that could very well see Vancouver hoisting the Stanley Cup on their home ice.
Aaron Rome will not be on skates to do a lap with the cup, because of an overactive attack on concussions.Aaron Rome did not violate Rule 48.
Aaron Rome did leave his feet. Aaron Rome did throw a blind side hit. Aaron Rome did hit Nathan Horton in the mid-section.
Nathan Horton was knocked cold when his head hit the ice. It's a hazard of the job. Every Hockey player wears a helmet for a reason.
The situation is oddly reminiscent of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Trent Green's concussion at the hands of Cincinnati Benagls defensive end Robert Geathers on September 10, 2006. Green was sliding and, unable to hold up on his momentum, Geathers hit Green in the chest on the way down. Green's helmeted head hit the ground and his season and, eventually, career came to an end. Geathers was cleared because he did not intentionally cause the concussion, he was merely playing the game.
Aaron Rome was playing the game. He was throwing a hit on an opposing player who had the puck on his stick less than two seconds prior.
The NHL robbed the Canucks of a Defenseman, and robbed Aaron Rome of a chance to fulfill every hockey player's dream... hoisting the cup, in uniform, and skating around the ice with it.