Philadelphia Flyers Forward Jody Shelley will face a possible suspension after boarding Toronto Maple Leaf Darryl Boyce during the Flyers 4-2 preseason loss on Wednesday night.
The hit by Shelley was dirty and completely unwarranted. Shelley may have been frustrated as he was seemingly trying to “mix it up” with unwilling Leafs leading up to the play. However, that is no excuse, especially in a preseason game.
Shelley is known for one thing, his toughness. It’s all he’s capable of bringing to a hockey team, the only skill set he provides. Before Wednesday’s incident, some would argue that Shelley adds some veteran leadership, but you can throw that out the window now. It was a cowardly act, and Shelley got justly pounded by the Leafs Jay Rosehill who came to Boyce’s defense.
The fans at the Wells Fargo Center moaned, groaned and booed as Shelley’s penalties were announced, the reaction baffled me. It was brought to my attention by a Twitter follower (Unnecessary Plug: Follow Me on Twitter @Mike__SB & @Flyers_Rant) who was also at the game, that he and others didn’t see the hit on Boyce. I can give some fans a pass, but nearly the entire building erupted in boos and we wonder why Philly fans have a bad national reputation. It’s greatly exaggerated, but in some instances it’s painfully accurate.
The fans reaction aside, the hit by Shelley disgusted me. There is absolutely no room for that kind of nonsense, especially from someone who adds little if anything to the team. Rosehill commented after the game that he had never thought of Shelley as a dirty player. Before Wednesday night, neither did I. Of course, with the role of tough guy comes some dirty business and actions some would deem “dirty.” However, Shelley’s actions Wednesday night should end his career in orange and black. There are cheaper options in camp right now that could fill Shelley’s role and then some.
Shelley not only made a foolish decision by boarding Boyce, he put his teammates at risk to possible retaliation. Luckily the game meant practically nothing, imagine the damage another foolish decision could cause the Flyers in a game that actually means something. It’s time for Shelley to go, most likely to Adirondack.