Brendan Shanahan Explains Clarke MacArthur Suspension

Brendan Shanahan has released his video explaining Clarke MacArthur’s three game suspension and there is not much of a surprise in his reasoning behind the suspension.

Video, reaction from MacArthur, and thoughts after the jump.

Shanaban Video

As I predicted, the decision on the Brad Boyes hit on Joe Colborne was essentially a proxy for MacArthur’s. If you aren’t able to watch the video, here’s a summary of Shanahan’s explanation:


  • The bodycheck was an illegal hit to the head.
  • A punishment is required if the hit is intentional or reckless.
  • Shanahan agrees with MacArthur’s assertion that it wasn’t intentional but it was still a reckless bodycheck.
  • The positioning of Abdelkader’s head doesn’t change immediately before the hit or simultaneous to the hit.
  • That means that the onus is on MacArthur to make contact with Abdelkader’s body and not his head.
  • Having said that, there was no apparent injury and MacArthur has no history of NHL discipline
All of that combined to result in a three game suspension. One issue is that when you compare a hit that is acknowledged to have been simply reckless and one like Tom Sestito’s that was so malicious it’s hard to imagine that there was only a one game difference.


Clarke MacArthur Reacts

Video courtesy of Kevin McGran

"I just think there’s going to be no hitting in this game. That’s what is going to happen."

– Chris Johnston, Canadian Press

I’m kind of disappointed in MacArthur’s reaction to the suspension. It certainly isn’t what Brendan Shanahan wants players to take from his videos. While I obviously don’t want him happy to be missing time, he should be recognizing that he is responsible for where he makes contact when he throws a body check. Hopefully the next time MacArthur sees someone’s head sticking out he adjusts because the Leafs cannot afford to have him miss games.