Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 10/13/11
By SARAH SERVETNICK FOXSportsNorth.com When Brendan Shanahan took the position of NHL Senior VP of Player Safety, he made it very clear that he is serious about making the ice a safer place. During the 2011-12 preseason, Shanahan handed out nine suspensions. Thursday night marks the return of two Minnesota Wild players from suspension: Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Brad Staubitz. Bouchard was suspended for two games for a stick to the face of Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on October 8th. Staubitz was suspended for seven games for an illegal hit from behind on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Cody Bass on September 23rd. In his return, Staubitz said he will be more conscious, but will still play a physical game. "We have to be more conscious on the ice now. They aren't taking anything lightly. You have to be responsible the way you are playing. You aren't going to change the way you are playing, but you have to be conscious of the way you hit." Wild head coach Mike Yeo believes there is a fine line in Shanahan's new NHL. "You know you have to be careful. You know that they are going to be calling it strictly. At the same time you can't let it get into our heads, you have to play the game and you have to make split second decisions out there. It's something that everyone is aware of. Not just from incidents we have had on our team, but from across the league. The guys are conscious of it, but at the same time you have to be ready to react and go out and play the game." With the suspensions over, Yeo is looking forward to getting his players back on the ice. "Getting Pierre-Marc back makes out second line stronger. We missed him on the power play certainly in Long Island, but also in those games where the momentum was shifted in the direction of the opposition. He's the kind of guy who can just got out and execute. His poise with the puck his ability to make plays in those situations allows you to execute the right way and get back you your game. I feel he is going to be a big boost to us there."
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