Former Boston Bruin Stephane Quintal new Head of Player Safety


January 9, 2013; New York, NY, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the National Hockey League lockout during a press conference at the Westin New York in Times Square. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The National Hockey League has decided to let the era of the “Quintkick” continue. The league has decided that after interviewing potential candidates for the job of Vice President of Player Safety, they have come to the conclusion that Stephane Quintal was the best candidate all along to replace Brendan Shanahan (who left in April to take over as President of the Toronto Maple Leafs.).

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“Stephane Quintal has been dedicated to the mission of the Department of Player Safety since its creation for the opening of the 2011-12 season and has demonstrated over the last several months that he is uniquely suited to lead the department going forward. Brendan Shanahan established and built a highly-functioning and well-run department in his three years at its helm. Among his most important decisions was hiring Stephane Quintal to be part of his supervisory team.” – NHL commissioner Gary Bettman

Quintal has sixteen years and over a thousand games worth of NHL experience. He’s also a very rare bird in the NHL. Not many players in the league have had several years of experience in both the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens. He’s also no stranger to the penalty box, having earned an average of 1.27 penalty minutes per game he played.

Quintal will need to establish a firm and consistent hold on supplementary discipline this season if he wishes to retain his new job.  Quintal was roasted by members of the hockey media for giving chronic repeat offender Matt Cooke a seven game suspension for his knee-on-knee hit of Tyson Barrie. (Cooke had been suspended five times in the past for ruining the careers of other NHL players, Bruins forward Marc Savard being among them.) The league was supposed to come down on serious hits and repeat offenders and the seven game suspension was thought to be inadequate.

Here’s a home link to the NHL’s Department of Player Safety page. It’s a little sad that there’s a picture of former Bruins Shawn Thornton on there and his fine for squirting P.K. Subban in round two last year. Congratulations, Mr. Quintal. Behind Gary Bettman, you may have just inherited the role of the ‘most hated man in hockey’.