A lot of us saw that hit that John Scott leveled on Loui Eriksson. Scott, a career goon with a single goal in nearly two hundred games purposefully engaged and leveled a player. The apology he leveled to the media sounded a lot like the one the Ross “The Boss” Rhea issues in the movie GOON. With the Department of Player Safety loading up and bearing down on head hits, you would figure that Brendan Shanahan would be making a serious example out of a player like this.
There is a part of me that would like to see Shanahan lower the boom on Scott. That sort of player is on the ice only to start fights and hurt other players. A player who only puts in two minutes of ice time in a game is not really a NHL player, especially with five points in nearly two hundred games. He is one of the last few goons in the league and needs to be tossed out of it.
Scott will likely only get five games for the hit though. While he has been considered a problem in the past, Scott does not qualify as a repeat offender under the collective bargaining agreement. Shanahan has issued only one suspension higher than five games this season. That suspension, against fellow Sabres player Patrick Kaleta was issued due to three previous suspensions, and three previous fines. It would set another odd precedent for the Department of Player Safety, and further reinforce Shanahan’s inconsistency.
The only other mitigating concern when it comes to the length of the penalty will be the injury. Eriksson had to spend the night in a Buffalo hospital, but that was a precautionary concern. The Bruins trainers and the medical staff agree that Loui is ‘progressing’ through the injury. He is still listed on the injured reserve, and his status on October 31st could inflate Scott’s penalty.