Andy Sutton has been suspended five games by the NHL, and here is Brendan Shanahan’s video explanation.

The fact Sutton is a repeat offender and the initial point of contact was Gabriel Landeskog’s head, I’m not surprised by the five game suspension. It’s too bad for Sutton, because I felt he was getting better the past few games, but the hit was worthy of a suspension.

Sutton, via the Oilers, sent out the following release.

"I have been informed of and understand the League’s decision, however, I had no intention of delivering an illegal check.  For 14 years, I’ve always played the game with respect and integrity and I will continue to do so when I return."

I agreed with Shanahan’s decision, but i’d love to see him send out an explanation as to why Wojtek Wolski wasn’t suspended for his hit on Daniel Alfredsson. It is great to explain why a player is suspended, but it would be just as smart to inform the fans why certain plays are deemed clean.


  • Romulus' Apotheosis


    exactly what I said in the “Interesting Questions” thread. This new era of openness and transparency would really go up a notch if they showed the same vigor in explaining big non-calls.

    We are accruing video evidence of their disciplinary thinking so that we can cross-reference suspensions better, but it doesn’t help much in the case of non-calls.

    The Wolski hit deserves at minimum an explanation for no discipline. To be open and transparent means responding to a critical mass of confusion, frustration and critique.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    US$57,432.45 in salary forfeitted over 5 games.

    Pretty sure that what he makes in 5 games is more than the average Albertan’s salary. If I only had a chance to forfeit that kind of money….

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    Well, guys like Sutton will just have to start destroying guys by crouching a bit…..if larger players are trying to hit someone from head on, that’s the only approach that will likely allow guys like that to still play that style of game.

    Wolski’s hit on Alfreddson was worse really than the hit by Steckel on Crosby. At least it could be argued that Steckel’s hit could have been incidental. Wolski veered over to hit Alfredsson, and there was elbow. In both cases, the puck wasn’t even close.

    What disturbs me is that inconsistency is creeping into Shanahan’s decisions (or lack thereof). I can deal with Sutton’s suspension…probably a game or two more than what I had anticipated, but it’s incomprehensible that Wolski would get nothing for what that replay clearly indicates.

  • Banger

    I agree with you Gregor. No problem with Sutton being suspended, i maybe dont agree with 5 games, but i agree a suspension none the less.

    And i couldnt agree more about the hit on Alfredsson. I dont see how Sutton is 5 games and Wolski is none. Explanation would help, but if it takes 5 days to make a video justifying your suspension maybe we just need to wait 15 days to get a video about why there wasnt?….. yah right.

  • magisterrex

    I think the suspension was bogus. There was no way Sutton could not make that hit, and with his height differential, no way that some part of his body wouldn’t have hit Landeskog’s head. The random wheel of justice continues to spin, albeit with different parameters.

  • magisterrex

    I think that’s a bit harsh it’s not his fault he’s half goomba half Frankenstein with a couple drops of tiger blood in him and is a foot taller than everyone

    I think shanny is too strict. Time to make a eharmony account maybe

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The call (or lack of) on the Alfredsson hit has to be because Daniel is advancing into the collision. Wolski didn’t take a stride in Alfredssons direction in an effort to lay the smacketh down.

  • jonnyquixote

    That was a bad, bad hit and some commenters here need to take off their home-team blinders. It wasn’t because Sutton was tall that he cracked a skull; he lifts his arm and his elbow into Landeskog’s head – blind side too. The only redeeming value is that he probably doesn’t hit him as hard as he could have.

    Perhaps the worst part was Sutton afterwards saying he’d do it again. Even if he feels it’s okay (which it isn’t) that’s a dumb thing to say. Hopefully after this 5 game suspension, he’ll start to get it.

    Al here has it right – the legal bodycheck would have been the more exciting play too. Sutton could have put his body into Landeskog’s body and steamrollered him. That would have been amazing, but instead we got a cheap, dangerous headshot.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    The thing that I can’t wrap my head around on this suspension is that Landeskog did leave the ice and played the rest of the game. More of a glancing blow then a full on headhunting mission to put him out forever.

    All the meanwhile Wolski’s hit on Alffie caused Alffredson to leave the game. I have no clue as to what Shanahan’s reasoning is here, Sutton is a monster of a man and anytime he lowers the boom on a player it’s gonna look worst because he’s taller then 98 percent of the guys in the NHL. Bad one Shanny, bad one!

  • Banger

    I don’t like the suspension and I’ll tell you y. First Gabriel was entering the opponents zone and wasn’t paying attention where he was going. I don’t care who you are, when your heading into enemy territory you need to pay attention. Second, Sutton doesn’t skate hard and goes straight out of his zone. There is nothing blindside about it, it was pretty much straight line from sutton and was fully visible to the player if he was paying attention and there is nothing against standing guys up at the blue line. And third, if a guy decides to lean forward and your the same height your going to hit his head let alone when you are 7 inches taller than the guy. And yes when you watch the replay suttons shoulder does hit the head but seriously, hit head and shoulder are at the same height. Both bodies hit each other so it was not just a guy looking to take someones head. If you want to see intent to injure look at the seconding boarding incident on Belanger.

  • Bob Cobb

    Wolski should be suspend at least 5 games too. If you watch the clip, Alfredsson is an unsuspecting, vulnerable position watching the puck and Wolski hit him with the elbow in the head, I thought that was the the kind of hit they were trying to take out. Its the same as the hit on Crosby in the Washington game and both should have been a suspension as far as I’m concerned.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Everyone should be expected to contribute to the suspension totals this season. Even Hopkins should try to force feed his Easton down someones throat at some point this season.

    Two games would go along way to removing that Hit me sign he has on his back right now. Let’em eat the Easton Ryan.

  • RexLibris

    I’ve watched the hit about a half-dozen times and I don’t see any intentional elbow. I see Sutton lifting himself up a bit at contact and leading with his shoulder into Landeskog’s head. If it’s five games, so be it. I want this game to be one where players can actually retire because of age, rather than cognitive damage.

    To that end, if I felt the Sutton suspension would keep our own players safer I would absolutely back it, but it does disturb me that Wolski walks for that hit. I know the explanation was that he was merely in Alfredsson’s path and that he didn’t move to get in front of Alfredsson, but Wisniewski didn’t move to get in front of Clutterbuck either. So I’m with you, Jason, and from the sounds of it quite a few others as well, that I’d like to hear why Wolski walks and Sutton sits.

    Brilliant FIST acronym, btw.

  • RexLibris

    Rob Brown said something to this effect on Stauffer’s show on 1260 about a year ago after Briere was suspended for his high-stick to the face. Brown said that in junior his coach told him at the beginning of the season he was allowed two five-minute majors for stick infractions because the coach knew that Brown was a skill guy and would need to display a little crazy sometimes to buy him space. Sure enough it worked. I don’t see Renney saying that, or at least if he does I hope the cameras for Oil Change aren’t running.

    Hall is starting to play with a little more abandon and physicality to give him some space. I don’t see Eberle doing it yet. I’m personally waiting for the day when RNH goes just absolutely blows his top like Doug Weight did that night against Marchment. It might give him some respect around the league, as long as he doesn’t hurt himself or swing like Semin.

  • Release the Hounds

    The Sutton suspension is all well and good, but someone ask Shanny why Edler got absolutely nothing for his classic backpressure hit to the head of Hall in the preseason? Intentional hit too. Not even a fine. Politics? I think so.

  • Release the Hounds

    I was so pissed at the NHL’s double standard, that yesterday I tweeted to “@NHLShanahan Since you met with Sutton today, when are you meeting with Blues Oshie & Sobotka for dirty hits into boards on E. Belanger?”

    Those hits, especially Oshie’s, was just as worthy of a 5 game suspension as Sutton’s hit on Landeskog. Note to Sutton…Next time you line somebody up, bend your knees so you’re the same height as your target. Target Destroyed! No suspension!

  • Wanyes bastard child

    Kinda off topic here, but I think the people in Oilers marketing read ON πŸ˜›

    Driving by Rexall today and I see that the horribly photo shopped pic of Smyth’s face on Jones body (as pointed out by Gregor recently) has been replaced by an honest to goodness Ryan Smyth pic πŸ™‚

  • SurfacetoAirMissile

    I agree Gregor. The five games is okay because he’s a repeat offender. But how can that get five games when Wolski gets nothing when he purposely puts his shoulder into Alfredsson’s head. I’d be happy with this if Wolski got 5-8 games but the fact that he’s given nothing makes this new strict enforcement on head hits confusing.

  • SurfacetoAirMissile

    You wanted to be tougher to play against? You don’t want other teams taking runs at the Oilers young talent? The Oilers need to have more players taking runs at the opositions talent. Suspensions are just a part of having more guys going out of their way to make the other team think twice when coming over the blueline.

    I am not saying the players should go out of their way to get suspended, I just think it is not so bad to have the odd guy suspended when the results are the Oilers are tougher to play against. Props to Sutton….. don’t change your game!

  • SurfacetoAirMissile

    Landeskog was running Dubnyk on numerous occasions during the game without being penalized and that’s the reason for Sutton to step up and try to send him a message…he dodges the hit and Sutton makes contact with his head. i’m not disputing that it maybe a suspension (although 5 games excessive) but if the refs would have called Landeskog on any of those runs on the goaltender Sutton would not have the idea to police the situation in the first place….just sayin’

  • Twiggs

    I guess I can agree with the suspension because of the head contact but I think 5 is stiff and here is why:

    What is Sutton supposed to do there? Given Landeskog’s body/head position, it would be next to impossible for a man of Sutton’s stature to make zero head contact. His only option to avoid suspension becomes to not make the hit. Which is not really an option. D-men aren’t going to start letting attacking forwards just waltz into their zone untouched. I think this needs to be taken into consideration when suspensions are being levied. This was a bad situation where the defenseman had few options an some onus needs to be put on the attacking player.

    My 2 cents.