Discussion

Shanahan's approach to playoff discipline

Updated: March 21, 2012, 12:40 PM ET
By Craig Custance

It was a moment that changed the course of the Stanley Cup finals last spring. Early on in Game 3, Nathan Horton fed Milan Lucic with a pass and didn't see Aaron Rome waiting at the blue line. Rome stepped up and flattened Horton with a late hit that knocked Horton out. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher and eventually diagnosed with a severe concussion that cost him the rest of the series.

Rome didn't play another second the rest of the series, either, kicked out of the game and then suspended four games by Mike Murphy, the league's senior vice president of hockey operations. Before that suspension, there were just three players in NHL history suspended during the finals, each for one game.

It was a serious punishment and one that still raises the blood pressure on both sides.

"Now afterwards, and not only because I was in Vancouver, but that was a hard punishment to get. That was way too long," said former Canuck Mikael Samuelsson. "I see why they did it, but now afterwards, I hope they correct it. I hope they learned something."

There's no shortage of Boston Bruins who would disagree with Samuelsson's conclusion.

This spring, there will be more incidents to debate, and now it's Brendan Shanahan handing out the justice in his first postseason as the league's disciplinarian.

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