The San Jose Sharks were without forward Ryane Clowe for last night’s game against the Dallas Stars, as they wait for word on the league as to how long he will be suspended due to his actions in Thursday night’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks. After the Blackhawks’ Andrew Shaw put a nasty hit on the Sharks’ Joe Pavelski in front of the San Jose bench in the final minute of play, Clowe came off the bench and went after Shaw. He could be facing a 10-game suspension if league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan decides that he did in fact leave the bench to engage in a fight, or less if it looks more like he was part of a line change. Given where the incident took place, they’re going to spend a lot of time on this one, and need several camera angles.
Clowe will have a hearing on Monday, and the Sharks will find out if he will miss the next two weeks of the season. One thing the Sharks forward doesn’t have going for him is the fact that he avoided a suspension last season for reaching over the bench and interfering with a Los Angeles Kings’ rush during a game. He will have a case to argue his point in-person, but seems likely to be facing at least a few games in the press box.
Ironically, no supplemental discipline appear to be in the works for Shaw, who has a lengthy history of questionable play. He was suspended three games last April for running into Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, and suspended for six games in the AHL this season during the lockout for… wait for it… leaving the bench to get in a fight! The bottom line here is that rules are rules, and every player knows leaving the bench to fight will result in a suspension. From Clowe’s perspective, it’s too bad the guy who stuck up for his teammate is going to get punished worse than the one who played with intent to injure.