Bench Him, Coach

editorial by Jas Faulkner, contributing editor

Shea Weber (Icon: SMI)

Last night my colleague, Jim Neveau, asked if Shea Weber should be disciplined for his hits on Henrik Zetterberg during the final minute of play in game one of Series H.

Do I think Weber needs to get a call from Shanahan?

No.

He should get a call from Barry Trotz this morning informing him that he is going to sit out the remainder of Series H of the Quarterfinals. The Predators Front Office can explain to Shanahan that they’re on it. That’s the way it should happen. Weber’s actions last night were unbecoming of a member of Nashville’s roster. For years, Barry Trotz and David Poile have said over and over again that putting together the Predators has been an exercise in building character, not finding characters.

This?

This is not the Nashville Predators I have cheered since 1997. This is not the team I have confidently written about as the Good Guys of the NHL. Good Guys don’t hit an opponent twice when the game has seconds left. If the situation had been reversed, if, say, Todd Bertuzzi (who is no stranger to bad behaviour on the ice) had punched Mike Fisher and then grabbed him and slammed him against the glass, there would be protests coming from Nashville, and rightly so. Some pundits have suggested that this is a chance for the NHL to show if they’re serious about enforcing the rules they have put in place to prevent head and spinal injuries on the ice.

The Predators organisation has always, ALWAYS held itself to a higher standard than the league in general. They need to continue to lead the league. Bench Shea Weber and send a message that this is about something bigger than one series. Nashville, bench him because you have enough talent on the ice to win without him. Let him come back for the semifinals and show Predsnation and beyond the hero we were glad to see wearing the captain’s sweater last summer.