Bourque: Suspension 'a little harsh'
STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency
|Calgary Flames Rene Bourque file photo during NHL hockey in Calgary, Alberta, Saturday October 8, 2011. (AL CHAREST/QMI Agency)
Rene Bourque didn’t know what to expect from his first NHL hearing.
But he might have had a gut feeling after his conference call with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan that things weren’t going to go his way.
“It’s tough for them to make decisions. Shanny made it clear he wasn’t happy with it. He thought it was a dangerous hit,” Bourque said Tuesday before serving the first contest of his two-game suspension for hitting Chicago Blackhawks defender Brent Seabrook in the back Sunday. “I tried to, not argue with him, but explain my process and my thoughts about it.
“Obviously, we didn’t come to an agreement there.”
A scattering of laughs followed that, but there was a feeling within the organization that a pair of games was heavy considering contact with referee Stephane Auger, who stopped the puck along the boards and forced Seabrook to spin around just before Bourque made the hit, contributed to the result of the play.
“Honestly, I thought the ref was a big part of it. Especially right before I hit him, he does get tangled up and does turn towards the boards. I thought that would have a bigger role in the decision. Unfortunately it didn’t,” Bourque said. “I thought I’d get maybe a fine or a game. But two? A little harsh maybe.”
Flames GM Jay Feaster weighed in with a brief statement.
“We respectfully disagree with the league’s interpretation of the hit, “ Feaster said. “We nonetheless recognize that Brendan Shanahan has issued his ruling and both the Flames and Rene Bourque will abide by his decision.”
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