Philadelphia Flyers forward Jody Shelley will watch the next two games from the press level, as the NHL handed down a 2-game suspension for the Philly tough guy this morning. Shelley received a 5-minute major and a game misconduct on Saturday night after hitting Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid from behind into the end boards on an icing touch-up in the second period of the Flyers' 2-1 overtime win over the Bruins.
It is nice to see that the NHL is finally taking action to deter dangerous plays like Shelley's hit. This is the sort of hit that has no place in the game. McQuaid was in a vulnerable position and had zero expectation to get shoved from behind in that situation. Rule 81.1 in the NHL Rule Book clearly states that a player cannot make contact, if he is not attempting to play the puck. If you look at the video, when Shelley pushes McQuiad, Andrew Ference already has the puck on his stick or is attempting to play the puck, not McQuaid.
...Any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck. Unnecessary or dangerous contact could result in penalties being assessed to the offending player....
"I didn’t think there was any need for it. I don’t know what the intention was, but certainly, there was no need for that at all and I think that’s one of the things we’re trying to get out of game and, I mean, I know [Jody] Shelley a little bit from a long time ago and he’s actually a good person and, to me, he’s a tough guy. I don’t know that he’s purposely gone out there to injure people like that so I found that a little bit strange that he would do that. It’s unfortunate. Like I said, it’s uncalled for. Hopefully the League deals with it the proper way and we’ll go from there."
- Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien on the hit
"Well, you know, I obviously wasn’t prepared to get hit there. It’d be different, I guess, if I was even reaching for the puck, but [Andrew Ference] was the one who went back and got the puck, so I’m not really sure what happened to be honest with you. I just got my back and I’m not sure how hard it was or anything, but I guess I wasn’t prepared to get hit in that situation."
- Adam McQuaid
"When I was coming off the ice, he was waiting for me there. He said he was sorry and he didn’t mean to, so just kind of got to take what he says."
- Adam McQuaid on Jody Shelley's apology following the hit