Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Bouchard's agent decries "kangaroo court"

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news Updated: October 10, 2011 - 9:07 AM

Update: Bouchard has filed an appeal as per his right with Commissioner Gary Bettman. He has a hearing scheduled for this morning at 11 a.m.

The two-game suspension of Wild winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard has, as expected, drawn the ire of his agent, Allan Walsh of Octagon.

Here is Walsh's e-mail to the Star Tribune on the matter:


"Pierre-Marc Bouchard is one of the most sportsmanlike and gentlemanly players in the game today. In a career spanning 9 NHL seasons, he's acquired a grand total of 2 major penalties.

On the play in question last night, even the 2 on ice officials did not deem Pierre-Marc's actions worthy of a major penalty.

It's important to note that in 2008-09, Pierre-Marc was the victim of a headshot that resulted in a serious concussion with extensive symptoms that kept him out of action for 1.5 years.

There is no one who supports ridding the game of headshots, blindside hits and dangerous hits from behind more than Pierre-Marc. What occurred on the play in question last night was none of the above. The notion that Pierre-Marc Bouchard intentionally swung his stick into the face of an opponent is patently absurd. He's just not that kind of player.

What message is Brendan Shanahan sending with this unwarranted suspension? All perennial Lady Byng candidates should now be on notice that when an opponent high sticks himself in the mouth, he can expect a minimum suspension of 2 regular season NHL games. This result is a shameful farce for the League.

All in all, these 20 minute disciplinary hearings are nothing more than kangaroo courts. More League effort goes into writing scripts and producing slick video's than in getting to the real facts of what occurred on the ice. It's an inherent conflict of interest for an employee of the NHL to be conducting these hearings and imposing suspensions on players. It's time for a neutral 3rd party not associated with the league or the players to take over supplementary discipline as this system clearly does not work."

Through a spokesman, NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan declined comment.

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