Alex Edler Nonsensically Shanabanned, Again, For Three Games

On Thursday night the Vancouver Canucks lost not only the game (in a convincing fashion, to boot), but also defenseman Alexander Edler, who has been suspended for 3 games by the NHL for his check to the head of Tomas Hertl.

Read on past the jump for some analysis on the suspension, and what this means going forward.

Here’s a mesmerizing GIF of the play:

(via theScore)

Here’s Brendan Shanahan’s video explaining how he came to the term of the suspension.

The main points from said video.

I’m really having trouble understanding why Edler got dinged for 3 games here, quite frankly. After it happened I figured that he’d probably get away without any sort of supplemental discipline, but if he did get punished, it would be in the form of a fine.

As you can see from the play, Edler is already committed to the hit, tucks his shoulder/elbow, and it’s really only Hertl’s low stance as he reaches for the puck that makes this play a thing we’re even discussing at all. In addition to that, Edler didn’t receive a penalty on the play, and Hertl wasn’t injured.

Shanahan cites Edler as a repeat offender, which is only true because he butchered his ruling on a play involving Edler and Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith from last March. I thought that two wrongs didn’t make a right? 

If he serves his 3 games without appealing, Edler will be eligible to return the lineup on October 19th in Pittsburgh. It’s a huge loss for the Canucks, no doubt, as the talented Swedish defenseman was averaging over 2 minutes per game more than anyone else on the team.

Judging from my Twitter timeline, and posts by Yahoo’s Greg Wyshynski and CBS Sports’ Chris Peters, I’m not the only one that is in a state of disbelief regarding this ruling. For what it’s worth, I was perfectly okay with Zack Kassian’s suspension in the preseason, and actually thought that Dale Weise should’ve been punished more harshly. I sincerely believe that me being close to the team has not clouded my judgement here.

Sticking with the Sharks, defenseman Brad Stuart recently also got 3 games for what I thought was a much more flagrant play, in which he knocked superstar Rick Nash out of the lineup for at least a week with a concussion. I generally try not to get worked up about these things, but in suspending Alex Edler for 3 games, the league was way off.

  • pheenster

    Edler was going for a shoulder-to-shoulder check and Hertl tucked his head down. Hertl also touched the puck before Edler touched him, and was not hurt on the play. This is mystifying.

    • argoleas

      This is what Error Edler does best, getting suspended by the league for doing stupid things. He always plays for the other team, time to trade the donkey for a a bag apples.

      • argoleas

        Yeah, no. I am not a huge Edler fan but he is a very good D-man. He isn’t elite or your prototypical #1 go to guy but he is very good. He brings a lot to the table, is still young and has a bargain of a contract.

        Having said that, he sure does make some dumb decisions. He knows he has to make some physical plays and once in a while goes a bit too far. I don’t think he went too far on this play – it was just unlucky.

  • psa

    I guess I get why he was suspended *at all* given the change to the rule. But the repeat offender stuff doesn’t make any sense under the new rule. It’s beyond silly to punish a player extra because he’s had two or three clumsy hits out of literally hundreds of hits in a career.

  • argoleas

    If the intent of the league is to go aggressively after head shots, to the point that each and every player first thinks whether they will hit the head before committing themselves, even if some of the calls are overzealous, that is still something that should be positive for the overall game. Imagine the ban if Hertl was injured.

    With Edler out, does it mean Garrison shifts to left and Weber goes to defense, with Kassian returning, or do they call up Corrado?

    • Cale

      If they indeed are going to do that, they need to stop spinning the Wheel of Justice and publish explicit penalties for conduct irrespective of consequence. An accidental head hit is 3 games. An intentional head hit is 10 games, etc. Add a scalar for repeat offenders: after one offence your multiplier is 1.5, after 2 it’s 2, etc.

      The Black Box of Shannabannery is useless for preventing injuries and makes the DOPS look like incompetent amateurs.

  • argoleas

    Of course it was a 3 game suspension. The league is doing this because of the lawsuit that is in the NFLs lap right now. There was no penalty becaiuse it looked almost accidental at full speed, but slowed down it was a badly timed hit that could have cause a terrible injury. Edlers previous suspension and Worl Games played into it as well. This D is not playing well, but with Torts track record, I have a felling the best is yet to come. We just have to get through the adjustment part of figuring out players and the system. At least we aren’t the rangers and AV?! Don’t know if he will make it long enough to see the renovations to the Garden?

  • argoleas

    Shanahan has been Colin’s sock puppet since he got the job from him. Why do you think Boston got so many breaks. The biggest break Boston got was when they had the Canucks in the finals instead of another team. LOL

    The problem with the NHL is that there are too many things done half assed and half allowed. they won’t ban hitting for an example, but they make up so many BS rules about when where and how to hit another player. Sounds great, right? The problem is the game, like many other games are played so fast that there is no time t think about the rules. No player who has another guy lined up for the hit is saying to himself a half second before the hit, ” oh wait, i can’t hit him if he’s turned like that, I can’t hit him if he’s doing that, and etc etc.” Not to mention now many players will submarine under a hit, or duck or even worse, turn their back on the hitter so as to draw a penalty, even at the risk of ending up in a wheelchair. It truly is retarded.

    The NHL should just either allow or disallow hitting in the game but if they do allow hitting, have some simple basic rules. the other rule is, keep your freaking head up. If you put your head down and get hit, you got no one to blame but yourself. But of course they won’t do that. Now they expect players to practically recite the rules a second before they hit an opponent. And the NHL folks wonder why so many ppl think the NHL is half a bush league and wishy washy. Great example, call everything in the regular season, come play offs, a new set of unwritten rules. hook and grab all you want, the penalties will be even upped like a game of super Mario cart racers.

  • argoleas

    OK I watched the gif for a couple of hours non stop and it finally came to me. I KNOW what Edler did wrong. When a guy puts himself in a vulnerable position by reaching for the puck as Hertl was, you don’t go for the hit…you cradle him, utter some soothing words in a soft voice, and apologize for any inconvenience your near collision may have caused. If you want to be classy, you pick the guys helmet up for him and offer to buy dinner.

    • argoleas

      I think you have it exactly right. Now if one can only learn to do all that in a split-second, including making dinner reservations.

      People should also understand that on balance, losing three games is one thing. The good thing here is that no one got injured, but will this screw with Edler’s head, making him second guess himself. Or maybe he will just accept this as the price of paying on the edge.

  • argoleas

    Hey army your goalie got punked!!
    Your team sucks!!
    And one of the sisters got a bloody nose..
    Great start to season hope u play San Jose soon..
    Go Flames Go!!!!!!

  • argoleas

    Shanahan is great and he’s cleaned up the league
    Sour grapes is no way to explain how a repeat
    Yes repeat offender
    Repeat myself idiot Canucks fans..
    Elder is a goon of a dirty slow useless team!!
    Lol and go get a crying towel