NEW YORK (AP) - Brendan Shanahan has handed out his first suspension since becoming the NHL's dean of discipline, banning Calgary forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond for the rest of the preseason and the Flames' first game of the regular season.
Letourneau-Leblond will miss five games, the last one being the regular-season opener against Pittsburgh on Oct. 8, for hitting Vancouver forward Matt Clackson from behind on Tuesday. Shanahan suspended Letourneau-Leblond on Thursday in his new role as the NHL senior vice president of player safety.
Letourneau-Leblond violated the league's expanded boarding rule that was created during the offseason.
You've got to focus on playing good hockey. When we do that we give ourselves a chance to win games. Win games and then maybe we''ll have a chance at the end. You can't worry about something like (the division title) when we're not playing our best hockey down the stretch. We'll figure things out together the way we always do and get back on the right page.
— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews after loss to Flyers on Wednesday left them five points out of first place in Central Division