However, NHL agent Allan Walsh took it up a notch on Sunday.
Complaining about NHL vice president of player safety and hockey operations Brendan Shanahan's two-game suspension of Minnesota Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard for high sticking, Walsh called the suspension a "shameful farce for the league," according to CBC.
"Pierre-Marc Bouchard is one of the most sportsmanlike and gentlemanly players in the game today," Walsh stated in an e-mail to Hockey Night in Canada. "What message is Brendan Shanahan sending with this unwarranted suspension?"
Walsh pointed to Bouchard's lack of a previous record as an indication of Shanahan going overboard. The article notes that Bouchard has only 152 penalty minutes through 485 regular-season games and has been called for a major penalty only twice in his eight-year career.
The biggest issue that Walsh brings up, and perhaps the most troubling to others in the league, is the lack of oversight for Shanahan and the power he wields as a one-man suspension machine.
"It's an inherent conflict of interest for an employee of the NHL to be conducting these hearings and imposing suspensions on players," argues Walsh. "It's time for a neutral third party not associated with the league or the players to take over supplementary discipline."
The article goes on to state that some general managers in the league have complained to commissioner Gary Bettman about the length of the suspensions that Shanahan has doled out, but there is an acknowledgement that it will be a learning process as players and league officials both adjust to the new emphasis on clean hitting.
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