The most visible man during the NHL preseason has been Brendan Shanahan and not Sidney Crosby, a revealing fact about what holds the hockey world's attention going into the 2011-12 season: hits to the head.
While Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins star and arguably the league's top player, works on his recovery from a concussion caused by a pair of hits last season, Shanahan has been doling out startling suspensions for blows to the head since the preseason opened Sept. 19.
And Shanahan, a former player who served five suspensions during a 21-year career, has a novel way of announcing the bans - appearing on videos in which he explains in detail, with replays of the hit, why it deserved extra punishment.
During this preseason, hardly a day went by without a new video. Most players applauded the crackdown but others worried it may turn NHL hockey into no-hit shinny.
Nine players have been slapped with 31 regular season games worth of suspensions for incidents in exhibition g...