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Brendan Shanahan: Head Injury At Play In 3-Game Ban For Rangers’ ‘Good Kid’ Hagelin

Carl Hagelin, Brendan Shanahan (credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Carl Hagelin, Brendan Shanahan (credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN) – It was the suspension heard ’round the Big Apple.

The NHL banned Rangers forward Carl Hagelin three games Sunday for delivering an elbow to the head of Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson in New York’s Game 2 loss on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Blueshirts fans were livid that Senators enforcer Matt Carkner was dealt a mere one-game suspension for starting Saturday’s one-sided fight against Brian Boyle. Not to mention Nashville defenseman Shea Weber received only a $2,500 fine for crunching the head of Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg into the glass in Game 1 of Predators-Red Wings.

Brendan Shanahan, the league’s VP of player safety, joined WFAN’s Boomer & Carton on Monday morning to defend his handling of the penalties.

“The biggest difference between the two plays is there’s the head injury and concussion on one,” said Shanahan, “and there’s no injury on the other.”

Listen: Shanahan with Boomer & Carton

The blow, completely out of character for New York’s mild-mannered rookie, left Alfredsson with a concussion. Shanahan said if Hagelin had a history, “it would have been more than three games.”

“I do think he’s a good kid,” Shanahan said. “I do think Carl Hagelin’s a good kid. He looks right at Daniel Alfredsson, skates at him and elbows him right in the head. And Alfredsson has to leave a big game, an important game, and has a concussion and doesn’t come back.”

Would Shanahan change his opinion if Alfredsson, a game-time decision, manages to play in Game 3?

“Well, I think that’s a possibility,” he said.

But the Rangers would have to appeal before the start of play Monday. The team, though “perplexed” by the decision, announced they had no plans to fight it.

“The New York Rangers accept the NHL’s three-game suspension of Carl Hagelin and will not pursue an appeal,” the Rangers said in a statement. “However, we are thoroughly perplexed in the ruling’s inconsistency with other supplementary discipline decisions that have been made throughout this season and during the playoffs.”

The disciplinarian admitted he probably wouldn’t have reacted well to the suspension — well, any suspension — during his playing days.

“I can only tell you we’re trying to do this job with as much foresight and integrity as we can,” said Shanahan. “And we do our very best.”

Was Shanahan right on or way off with his suspension of Hagelin? Sound off in the comments below…