Brendan Shanahan Explains Clarke MacArthur Suspension

Brendan Shanahan has released his video explaining Clarke MacArthur’s three game suspension and there is not much of a surprise in his reasoning behind the suspension.

Video, reaction from MacArthur, and thoughts after the jump.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Shanaban Video

As I predicted, the decision on the Brad Boyes hit on Joe Colborne was essentially a proxy for MacArthur’s. If you aren’t able to watch the video, here’s a summary of Shanahan’s explanation:


  • The bodycheck was an illegal hit to the head.
  • A punishment is required if the hit is intentional or reckless.
  • Shanahan agrees with MacArthur’s assertion that it wasn’t intentional but it was still a reckless bodycheck.
  • The positioning of Abdelkader’s head doesn’t change immediately before the hit or simultaneous to the hit.
  • That means that the onus is on MacArthur to make contact with Abdelkader’s body and not his head.
  • Having said that, there was no apparent injury and MacArthur has no history of NHL discipline
All of that combined to result in a three game suspension. One issue is that when you compare a hit that is acknowledged to have been simply reckless and one like Tom Sestito’s that was so malicious it’s hard to imagine that there was only a one game difference.


Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Clarke MacArthur Reacts

Video courtesy of Kevin McGran

"I just think there’s going to be no hitting in this game. That’s what is going to happen."

– Chris Johnston, Canadian Press

I’m kind of disappointed in MacArthur’s reaction to the suspension. It certainly isn’t what Brendan Shanahan wants players to take from his videos. While I obviously don’t want him happy to be missing time, he should be recognizing that he is responsible for where he makes contact when he throws a body check. Hopefully the next time MacArthur sees someone’s head sticking out he adjusts because the Leafs cannot afford to have him miss games.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.