It’s official. The reign of the Shanaban is done in the NHL. The Toronto Maple Leafs are desperate to reinvigorate the franchise as a last second collapse of the team took them out of this year’s playoffs. To further facilitate their chances of success, they’ve pulled DoPS head Brendan Shanahan to take over as president of hockey operations and alternate governor for the Leafs. From the press release issued by the NHL this morning:
“At the direction of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Brendan Shanahan immediately relinquished responsibility for overseeing the League’s Department of Player Safety upon accepting the position of President of the Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday afternoon. Effective with Thursday night’s games and for the balance of the regular season and throughout the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stephane Quintal assumes the role of conducting hearings and administering supplementary discipline. ”
The National Hockey League has a first-rate and fully functional team of professionals staffed in the Player Safety Department that will continue to monitor all plays in all games and to flag plays that warrant review and potential discipline. There will be no change in the approach that has been established by the Department of Player Safety and the League will take all steps necessary to ensure a consistent standard of enforcement and application of discipline for the balance of this season.
It’s a solid and safe choice for Bettman. Quintal has been with the DoPS since it was founded in 2011. He spent sixteen seasons in the NHL, and is no stranger to the refs and the home office (he had earned thirteen hundred and twenty minutes in penalties in his career). While NHL’s number two man Bill Daly will have the final calls on suspensions (per the current collective bargaining agreement) Quintal will be doing all the leg work done by Shanahan.
(Off the record, anyone who played that many seasons in Montreal is slightly suspect to be fair and impartial. On the plus side, he did play several seasons as a member of the Black and Gold though (1988-1992).)
The Shanaban era is over. Let’s hope the “Quint-kick” is slightly more effective and equally applied in the post season.