The word came down from on high this afternoon that the Bruins were granted some measure of justice from the NHL front office today.
Here’s the statement from the league:
“Philadelphia Flyers forward Jody Shelley has been suspended for two games and will forfeit $11,827.96 in salary for delivering a hit from behind to Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid in NHL game #425, on December 11, the National Hockey League announced today.
“Shelley’s fine is based on his average annual salary and is calculated under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.”
As I pointed out yesterday, Alexander Ovechkin’s suspension for a similar hit last spring on Brian Campbell was two games, so for once the wheel of justice spun with some consistency. It’s great to see, as well, that the NHL wasn’t overly influenced by Shelley’s apology nor by the benefit of the doubt the many of the Bruins players, including McQuaid, seemed to be giving the Flyers tough guy after the game.
Of course, it might’ve helped that Gregory Campbell’s presence on the Bruins forces usual NHL discipline czar to relinquish the decision-making power to Mike Murphy in these types of matter involving Boston. The Bruins have obviously been denied justice in the past by the NHL, including the lack of a suspension for Matt Cooke last spring after his hit on Marc Savard and the shortness of a suspension handed to guys like Randy Jones for hits on Bruins players.
The Bruins and Flyers meet again Jan. 13 at TD Garden. Undoubtedly, Shelley will have to answer for his actions again that night, as the game misconduct he earned kept him out of the line of fire after the hit.