NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan announced on Thursday that Philadelphia Flyers forward Jody Shelley has been suspended for the remaining games of the preseason and the first five games of the regular season for a boarding infraction on Toronto forward Darryl Boyce in Wednesday's game.
Shelley, who was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Boyce at 12:34 of the second period, also will forfeit $67,073.15 in salary; that money will go to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. The suspension began Thursday night and he will be eligible to return on Oct. 20, when the Flyers host the Capitals.
Since Shelley is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (he was suspended twice last season for a total of four games), he has to forfeit his salary based on the number of games in the season (82) instead of the number of days in the season (185).
The NHL changed the boarding rule during the offseason to put the onus on the player making the hit to avoid or minimize the contact against a defenseless player. The focus is also on the violent and potentially dangerous contact with the boards rather than the actual point of contact.
"Shelley hit Boyce squarely from behind into the glass," Shanahan said. "Boyce's back was turned toward Shelley well before the contact, requiring that Shelley avoid or minimize the check. He did neither.
"In addition, Shelley's two suspensions last season weighed heavily in this decision.”
Shelley is the second player suspended for violating the boarding rule this week. Calgary forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond was suspended for the remaining four preseason games and one regular-season game for hitting Vancouver forward Matt Clackson from behind in Tuesday's preseason game.