Max Pacioretty escapes suspension from the NHL, evidence says he should have been

February 24, 2013, by

According to Renaud Lavoie of RDS, Max Pacioretty will not be suspended or disciplined of any form for his hit on Ryan McDonagh during last night’s 3-0 defeat in Montreal. At this point Brendan Shannahan has not released his customary videos explaining his thought process to today’s events.

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Here’s what we know.

  • Pacioretty was suspended for 3 games last season for a hit to the head of Penguins’ Kris Letang. So he is not a first-time offender, which usually guarantees some sort of discipline be it a suspension or fine.
  • Pacioretty was driven into the boards in front of Montreal’s bench by Ryan McDonagh prior to the illegal hit. So one can call this a retaliatory hit, which also usually guarantees league discipline.
  • As evidence by the photo above, his skates left the ice to make this illegal hit, another wrinkle often cited in disciplinary actions.
  • As evidence by the video below, this is clearly a violation of the league’s expanded boarding rule that was created during the offseason. Colin McDonald on the Islanders, who laid a similar hit last month, was suspended 2 games under this new rule.
  • Most importantly, and although I disagree with the league’s weighting scheme here, McDonagh was injured and didn’t return to the game. In most disciplinary issues, injury plays a major role in the league’s thought process.

With the above bullets in mind, I am just baffled Max didn’t get suspended. I am looking forward to watching Shanahan’s explanation, which will be located here at some point.

P.S. Special thanks to big-time Rangers fan and social media extraordinaire, Stefanie Alva, for finding this photo. If you’re not following her on Twitter, make that correction now.


  1. Marc Weissman says:

    Yes, the pics posted are incriminating, but not nec. for a suspension. How on Earth it was only a minor for boarding on the ice is the issue. I disagree that it warranted a suspension. However, shoulda definitely been a major for boarding and a gamer. That I’ll buy. But anyway, doesn’t solve our myriad of problems, McD being out for who knows how long being one of them.

  2. Spozo says:

    Besides the obvious, what really pisses me off was that not a single Ranger retaliated at all. Boyle stood up for Biron at te end of the game after he was run over but no one even skated Pacioretty. I’m not saying hurt the guys but stick up for your team mate.

    • Dave says:

      Yea, that’s a big problem. A suspension doesn’t fix the fact that no one went after Patches.

  3. BobM says:

    Several problems with this play.

    Listen to the Montreal announcers discussing “payback”. I would like to take their heads and smash them into the glass.

    The nearest referee, who was looking right at it, did not call this penalty, the one furthest away at center ice did. I would like to take the nearby referee and too, smash his head into the glass.

    Until the Rangers penalty kill is better, and they actually get someone out there to stick up for their teammates, this team is not going anywhere.

    Subsequently, teams will take these types of liberties because their power play is and has been crap, and that statement is insulting to crap.

  4. Dave says:

    Even the wheel of justice disagrees with this: http://www.nhlwheelofjustice.com/

  5. Mikeyyy says:

    See this is why players should police themselves.

    2 Rangers are out because of illegal and unpunished hits.

    Lucic drove Nash’s head into the wall….no call.

    Pacioretty jumped on a retaliatory hit, taking out a rising star. Clearly with intent to injure.

    When the nhl is unable or unwilling to police correctly, it’s in hockey’s best interest for the enforcers to impose the punishment.

    If I weren’t Ranger, any and all manhandling of the team is subject to the elbow of player safety. The late hit of justice, and the fists of revenge.

    Will someone on this team give a damn?

  6. joe718 says:

    Did you really expect anything else? It happened in Montreal, on Saturday night, on Hockey Night In Canada. The hearing was just a formality. The real question, to me, is why the refs didn’t check McDonagh for blood. He clearly was bleeding above his upper lip as he went to the bench; but I don’t think the refs even checked. Just another miserable Saturday night in Montreal.

  7. Paul Procita says:

    NHL is a joke! That’s all that you need to know! Still love watching! But refs suck and league never does anything about it!

  8. rickyrants13 says:

    The NHL is not just the joke SHANNY is the joke. I have said it since the day he took that job That we are seeing the real Shanny Now that he has a suit on he is ruining everything that he earned on the ICE. He is a scumbag.

    As for the Rangers not doing anything about it. We dont have any of those players anymore. The only guy that might have done something without having to be told. Is Asham and we all know where he is. This team has NO HEART, NO LEADERSHIP and NO COACHING…

    • Evan says:

      We never win in Montreal. So I could care less about the loss.

      Who can possibly say that did not warrant a suspension up above? What are you talking about?

      I cannot stand the homer commentating outside of NYC. It is disgusting how they talk in games.

      Honestly I bet torts didnt send for retaliation cause then whoever we sent would have gotten suspended. The NHL has a rangers vendetta plain and simple. The moment torts opened his mouth after the game, there was going to be no suspension.

      Everyone in rangers land is panicking but I won’t panic until we know the extent of Nash/mcd injuries. If they are out awhile we are screwed. However, we have way too much talent not to do better.

      Also the powe injury really hurt our flow more than people realize.

    • Pete says:

      Sorry Ricky but I have to disagree, the NHL is the joke, Shanny is just one of their sideshows. When the LEAGUE sets their “rules and regulations” and then those same r&r’s get blatantly broken time and again it just shows how much of a circus the whole thing is.

      What the point of talking “player safety” when clearly it is nothing more than talk.

      As they say, an eye for an eye just turns the world blind. Don’t get me wrong, a part of me would have loved to see Max get his jaw broken for his leaping act of spinelessness but in reality it should not have to come down to that. If the NHL ever grew a sack and gave up their quest to overtake Barnum & Bailey as the best circus in town then maybe the league wouldnt lose all their best players to hits from the gutless clowns they allow to get away with it.

      This is all on the NHL, Shanny is just their public whipping boy.

      • Walt says:

        Your right, but Shanny deserves everything that is being said of him. Touch Cindy, or Igor, and Buttman goes wild. He loves the Pens, and hates the Rangers, or should I say Dolan. How can they not call what Malkin did to Staal, hit on the top of his head, and not even call it high sticking???

        • Pete says:

          Yeah, I don’t know what to say about the New York bias. When I see Cooke getting away with his “play” on Karlsson, amongst numerous others, it makes me think beyond just local bias. One can def. make a compelling argument towards the shaft that New York gets but what’s happening in the league leaves a taste far more sour than the one just toward NY.

          I love the game of Hockey, played it for 25 years, and it truly saddens me when I see such irresponsibility from the top. Yeah, Shanny is a piece of Cooke but the NHL can’t be serious with its current position on player safety and I can’t imagine it would be very difficult to instill a better culture by just simply following the rules is sets out. I mean is that really asking for so much?

          It should be simple no? You leave your feet by leaping into another player and as a result causing an injury. Shouldn’t that kinda thing be black/white? But nothing? no fine, nothing?? Comical, just plain comical.

        • Pete says:

          Oh and don’t even bring up the Malkin tomahawk. That was a total disgrace.

  9. HAREMBLUES says:

    When Max P. starts running your players your team has a Fn problem.Every team needs a heavyweight,middleweight and a lil agitator we have none of the above.Waiting on Dylan Mc..The power-play,B.Rich hello millions bad signing.1 3 1 set up on power-play move the puck strong side to weak side high low man in high slot man in low slot in front of goal man in low slot can move to either of goalie if needed man in high slot or that sweet spot keep d honest the 2 fowards on either side up and down puck moves players move to create holes passing angles and 2on 1s or 3 on 2s in the zone.Man in high slot is always an outlet who can shot or pass to either player moving down the wings who pass to the man in the low slot or shot.2 man in the middle 1 high 1 low will create gaps to attack.puck moves players move.

    • Spozo says:

      Dude you solved the pp. Send you’re LinkedIn to Glen Sather immediately. Ps the agitator/middleweight we need has been injured and his name is Aaron asham.

  10. neal says:

    A few issues here. Max P deserved a suspension, no question about it. The other issue is that no one stood up for Mcd, which maybe a bigger issue in the long run. 3rd, I did not see the contact on Biron, but someone on this team either coach or and player has to say enough is enough and show that we cannot be pushed around. Last year time when Max p ran Lundqvist, you had Sauer and Dubinsky on the ice and they stood up for him. (if I recall correctly). something needs to be done. I surely am not advocating hurting someone, but rather showing we will not be pushed around and standing up for ourselves. Mashinter or and someone on the 4th line, needs to do this. if not bring up someone who can and will.

    • Walt says:

      Maybe our goalies should act more like Billy Smith, and start swinging their sticks, and break some ankels on their own.

      If we have guys that won’t come to teammates defense, then take the law into your own hands, or run their goalies, or stars. Would love to see the reaction if Price were hit a few times!!!!

  11. Mikeyyy says:

    You don’t need goons or people that mix it up. You need people that don’t care about suspensions.

    Someone runs your player, you demolish them and take the suspension. Call up another guy, Another player takes a run at your player, you take the cheap shot to re educate that player on what they are doing.

    The only way you will stop these cheap shots against the ramgers is if you attack back. Show that you won’t take it. And that their actions have consequences on their teammates, and themselves.

    The ruling on pacioretty has made it open season on the rangers. Every time they step on the ice now, the other teams know that the league will not take action against them.

    The cookes, pacioretties, and Lucic type people need to know, you mess with us, we will take you out without a care for the consequences.

    So for instance, how it should have played out was, McD gets face p,anted into the boards…..

    And a ranger gets a suspension for knocking pacioretty out for the season with either a head injury or you kneecap the guy, and blow his knee out.

    The fact of the matter is, this is how it used to be done.

    Back in the day, if someone messed with 99, Marty mcgoon would take you out of the game.

    After a while, no one messed with 99 not because they were afraid of getting a suspension, but because someone would end your career. Those are real fears, and the truth about policing is fear is your friend. When they fear you because you don’t care about the consequences, then you are in the drivers seat.

    Right now, no one is afraid of the rangers, yes they know we play hard, but no one fears us. You need to put that fear into people. A few high hits, Some elbows….

    You know how messier earned his space on the boards? The elbow…..he would keep his elbow high, and if anyone came in to hit him….he would place the elbow between him and the checker….so it would hurt them more than him….after a while, no one messed with him.

    And as great as messier was and is, people feared him, not because he was good, but because if you messed with him, he would destroy you when you least expected it. Ask mike modano.

    • Walt says:

      I agree 10000000% with your post. I responded above before I read your statement, and I felt that way for too long. Slats, get your guys to read this blog, maybe someone will develope gonads.

      Personally, I believe that this could also be pinned on Torts. He hates the goons in the NHL, and really doesn’t play any physical players if he doesn’t need to!

  12. neal says:

    maybe we should trade for Ryan Clowe?

  13. Sioux-per-man says:

    Let’s hope “The Truck” can deliver the goods next year! I’m getting Fowler by the game waiting for him to develope into the Monster we need on the blue line, to stick up for our players.