CALGARY - Brendan Shanahan has reviewed the evidence and decided not to suspend David Booth for his hit on Mikkka Kiprusoff late in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the Canucks.
Hours after Shanahan announced he had suspended Nashville’s Jordin Tootoo two games Tuesday for a similar play that saw him bowl over Ryan Miller, the NHL’s chief disciplinarian told the Sun there were “subtle differences” in the plays that helped him render his decision.
“With Tootoo there is a little contact with (Sabres defenceman Christian) Ehrhoff but I don’t think it propels him into Miller or restricted him from making efforts to minimize contact,” said Shanahan while he travelled from the Board of Governors meetings in Pebble Beach to San Jose to watch Tuesday’s Sharks game.
“On the Booth play, he’s got the puck longer and the Calgary defenceman (Joe Piskula) is right on his back and leaning on him right into the collision. Just before impact, Booth turns his skates and is blowing snow and is trying to stop. At no point is Tootoo trying to stop. He argued that he was trying to jump. Whether it was intentional to hurt Miller or get out of the way — either way, it was the wrong decision. It made the collision worse.
“I think with Booth he has less options because the player is leaning on his back right into the goalie.”
While many Flames fans saw it as a blatant running of the Flames netminder in a game that had gotten out of hand score-wise, Shanahan disagreed. He also dispelled the notion Booth wasn’t suspended because he doesn’t have the same sort of history as the notoriously reckless Tootoo.
“It had nothing to do with Booth’s or Tootoo’s reputation. Tootoo’s not being ridden into the goalie,” said Shanahan, who also pointed out the referees noticed the difference too by giving Tootoo a major and game misconduct for charging while Booth got a minor for goalie interference.