By Allan Muir
It didn't take long for the NHL's new chief disciplinarian to make his mark.
Appointed to fill the void created by the departure of Brendan Shanahan to the Maple Leafs earlier Friday, Stephane Quintal made a good call in handing Minnesota Wild forward Mike Rupp a four-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis forward T.J. Oshie on Thursday night.
The suspension includes the Wild’s final regular-season game and their first three playoff games. Considering what Rupp brings to the table, it might have been more punitive to make him skate a regular shift in those games, but you know these things work.
It was a pretty clear-cut case for Quintal and his staff. Not only was the hit late, but Oshie's head was the primary point of contact. As the league's Patrick Burke points out in the video, Rupp was obligated to hit him cleanly and within a reasonable amount of time after Oshie dished off the puck. Since Rupp did neither, there wasn't a lot of latitude for leniency here.
The one bright spot for Rupp: he sacrifices just one game's salary ($7,692.31) to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund because players are only paid through the end of the regular season.
Nice job here by the new crew. I hate to have to retire "Shanabanned," but as long as the boys in New York dole out the discipline appropriately, we're ready to make that sacrifice.
Captain Quintal, the NHL's new chief disciplinarian takes over: