Flyers' Shelley faces discipline for hit on Bruins' McQuaid

Shelley
Shelley
Posted: December 13, 2010

Jody Shelley said he was sorry.

Unfortunately for him, the NHL focuses less on intent and more on the bottom line.

Shelley will have a hearing today with the NHL's discipline committee via conference call for his inadvertent hit on Adam McQuaid in the second period of Saturday night's win in Boston.

Mike Murphy, NHL deputy director of hockey operations, will orchestrate any possible supplementary discipline because senior VP of hockey operations Colin Campbell's son, Gregory, plays for the Bruins.

Shelley was chasing down a puck deep in the Boston zone to negate an icing call when he said he lost his edge and sent McQuaid flying headfirst into the boards. Video of the play is available on our blog. Shelley quickly apologized to McQuaid, who remained on the ice momentarily before being helped off. McQuaid returned later in the period.

Shelley received a 5-minute major and a game misconduct.

"I didn't mean to do that," Shelley told reporters on Saturday. "I lost my edge. Next thing, we're in the boards together. I'm glad he is OK. It was one of those things - you don't want to see a guy laying on the ice. The referee had to make that call. I was disappointed that it happened."

Danny Briere was suspended by the NHL for three games earlier this season for a hit that seemed far less dangerous than Shelley's. Shelley is also a repeat offender, having been suspended at least four times in his career.

"Well, I looked at it again and personally I didn't think there was any need for it," Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters after the game. "I don't know what the intention was, but certainly there was no need for that at all and I think that's one of the things we're trying to get out of game. Like I said, it's uncalled for. Hopefully, the league deals with it the proper way and we'll go from there."

Decisions coming

Look for the Flyers to activate goaltender Michael Leighton from injured reserve this week, according to a league source.

Leighton wrapped up his final two rehab starts with the Phantoms this weekend, compiling a 1-3-0 record over the last two weekends with a 2.78 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage - not awful numbers with the worst team in the AHL playing in front of him.

Leighton told the Glens Falls Post-Star that Saturday night's loss, when he made 28 of 30 saves, was his "strongest" game so far and that he is "ready to return to play as much as needed."

The same league source said the Flyers are interested in conserving as much of a cap cushion as possible with regards to the injured reserve, in case of possible needs toward the trade deadline.

Since the Flyers' roster is already at the maximum 23, one player will need to go to make room for Leighton. The player most likely to be waived is defenseman Matt Walker, who played in all three games for the Phantoms this weekend on a conditioning assignment. Walker had hip surgery on Oct. 20 but was added to the roster off injured reserve on Friday to start his conditioning.

Even at full strength, Walker wouldn't be likely to crack the Flyers' deep blue line - and his $1.7 million cap hit makes him expendable compared to Oskars Bartulis at $600,000. Walker is signed through 2012-13.

While multiple teams have phoned Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren about James van Riemsdyk and Dan Carcillo, another league source says the Flyers do not view the logjam of forwards as a problem and are more likely to keep both. The Flyers also do not have interest in waiving Nik Zherdev, despite the fact that he makes $2 million and was a healthy scratch for the fifth time this season on Saturday. Zherdev is on pace for 24 goals this season.

"You've got to remember, we are almost at the middle of December," one source said. "All but three teams are in the playoff picture. Teams are just starting to decide whether they want to add players and get better or shed salary. It's all starting to heat up. Maybe one of those teams will solve the Flyers' issue that way."

Slap shots

The Flyers held their annual holiday skate with their families yesterday . . . With the win on Saturday, the Flyers are 4-0-1 in their last five games and 7-1-3 in their last 11. That sets up a showdown with Pittsburgh tomorrow night; the Penguins have won 12 in a row and hold the top spot in the NHL . . . The Flyers are first overall in goals scored (105) . . . Brian Boucher and Sergei Bobrovsky have a combined 2.32 goals against-average, good for fourth in the NHL.

For more news and analysis, read Frank Seravalli's blog, Frequent Flyers, at

http://go.philly.com/frequentflyers.

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