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McKenzie: Shanahan must decide if Coyotes hits suspendable

Bob McKenzie

5/16/2012 1:43:34 AM

It's going to be an interesting time for the player safety department, Brendan Shanahan et al, looking at the hits in Game 2 between the Kings and Coyotes. Shane Doan's hit on Trevor Lewis, prior to or simultaneously Lewis is aware that Doan is coming after him; he turns his back on him. You cannot make yourself defenseless in the NHL. He made himself vulnerable.

Now Dustin Brown is a defenseless player when Martin Hanzal pushes Brown into the boards from behind. Brown has no other option but to go back and try and get the puck; Hanzal just comes in and rams him from behind.

If I'm trying to read this one, I don't think there's any chance Doan is going to get suspended for his hit. I don't think the Coyotes will be happy that Doan got a five-minute major but for the referee, you have to give him the benefit of the doubt because that was a bang-bang play.

The Hanzal hit is more of a grey area. For me it's a suspension because he just drilled Brown from behind into the boards. But in the NHL, if there's no injury, sometimes they'll say the five-minute major and game misconduct is enough. We'll see where that goes.

Derek Morris' knee-on-knee hit looked nasty, and obviously the score and time of game will be taken into consideration. Morris steps up, tracks and gets the knee out there on Rob Scuderi. He was assessed a penalty on the play, the hit was really late and you could make a case that it was really malicious. But again, it falls into that grey area where if there's no injury on the play, a lot of time they'll just say ‘a penalty's a penalty.'

Again it's a tough call, but for me the Hanzal hit should be a suspension. Whether it is or not remains to be seen.

Gomez trade keeps on giving for Rangers

The Scott Gomez trade is the trade that keeps on giving for the New York Rangers. The Rangers traded Gomez and Tom Pyatt to Montreal and got back Ryan McDonagh, who was still at the University of Wisconsin, and Chris Higgins.

A day later they went out with the cap space they had after the Gomez trade and signed Marian Gaborik. Then later that season, while McDonagh was still at Wisconsin, they traded Higgins and Ales Kotalik to the Calgary Flames for Brandon Prust and Olli Jokinen.

All those players are no longer with those teams except for Prust, so Prust, Gaborik, and McDonagh – what a great yield for Gomez, who has become an albatross for the Montreal Canadiens.

McDonagh has great closing speed and is a tremendous skater. He's a guy that actually spent his first year split with the AHL but this year he's just blossoming and becoming everything the Canadiens thought he would be when they took him 12th overall.

If this trade looks really bad on the Canadiens and really good on the Rangers right now, imagine if McDonagh does what we think he's going to do: put together a great 10-15 year career.