I have to say, Brendan Shinnimin’s 12-game suspension surprised me — until I watched the video.
As you watch the video, you see Shinny give Saskatoon’s Josh Nicholls a shove in the back and Nicholls go awkwardly into the end boards behind Drew Owsley. To me it looked like a get-out-of-my-way kind of push, but with both players going at a high rate of speed, the impact into the boards was horrific.
Nicholls, who suffered a concussion and a bruised back, hopes to be back in the lineup Friday. Nicholls believes Shinnimin got off with a light sentence. “I’m disappointed at the length,” Nicholls told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. “I think it could have been a bit longer, but there’s nothing I can do about it now. Just got to keep playing.”
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A similar incident happened in the Ontario Hockey League last year when the Eric Otters’ Michael Liambas was suspended for the remainder of the season after a checking-from-behind hit injured Ben Fanelli of the Kitchener Rangers. Fanelli suffered a fractured skull in the Oct. 30, 2009 incident (www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsMjuIV23Wo).
It’s hard to say Shinnimin deserves the same fate as Liambas. No, it wasn’t right, but unlike Fanelli, Nicholls will be back on the ice after missing just a couple of games.