NEWARK, N.J. – Brendan Shanahan is adding a personal touch to his video explanations of his various rulings on hits made by NHL players.
The NHL’s vice-president in charge of on-ice discipline met with the coaches and players from the Winnipeg Jets on Friday to explain his approach to the job and the thinking that goes into the suspensions for things like hits to the head. Shanahan plans to meeting with all of the 30 NHL teams by the New Year to make sure everyone understands how he and the league operate when it comes to player discipline.
Shanahan sent out an instructional video to every team during training camp. He then up-dated that with clips from regular-season games and now he wants the players to have a chance to ask him questions in person.
Jets head coach Claude Noel said it was a fruitful discussion for him and his players. The session lasted 30 minutes and included some video and a question-and-answer.
“I took a lot of good things out of it, the fact they’re organized, they have a plan,” Noel said. “He tried to bring a lot of clarity to the rules situation.
“I respect the fact it’s a tough job, it’s not black and white, it is grey. It’s tough to explain grey. As coaches, we know because hockey is not black-and-white.”
One of the reasons Shanahan was given the job of player discipline starting this season was that he retired from his playing career just two years ago. Most of the players in the NHL played with or against him and that goes a long way toward accepting his decisions.
“Our players embraced what he was saying to us,” Noel said. “There’s a real respect factor because he’s been a player. He understands and he’s been on the other side of the fence.”