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Daniel Briere Gets Two Games for Cheapshot on Scott Hannan

James CriderCorrespondent INovember 25, 2009

DENVER - NOVEMBER 23:  Danny Briere #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers controls the puck as Kyle Quincey #27 and Scott Hannan #22 of the Colorado Avalanche defend during NHL action at the Pepsi Center on November 23, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Today the NHL announced that it has handed down a two game suspension to Philadelphia Flyers forward Daniel Briere for his hit on Scott Hannan last night.

If you didn't see the hit, you probably weren't alone: your eyes were probably focused on the puck being shot in the net.

As Hannan was watching the puck he just shot hit the twine, Briere blind sided him with a late hit, leaving his feet to deliver a blow to Hannan's neck. Hannan didn't return to the game.

The 2009-2010 NHL season has seen more than it's fair share of dirty hits, including a hit from behind on Darcy Tucker earlier in the season that left the veteran sidelined for several weeks.

When Briere hit Hannan last night, I only expected a fine. When you're a superstar (which Briere has been considered in recent years) not named Chris Pronger, the league has usually looked the other way.

But things may be starting to change. Not only was Briere (10 goals in 17 games) suspended, but Dallas Stars forward James Neal (22 points in 19 games) received a three game suspension last week for a hit from behind.

If this trend continues, star players around the league may have their 'Get Out of Jail Free' card yanked from them.

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And rightfully so. Briere (and Neal for that matter) is getting what he deserves. He threw a dirty hit on a vulnerable player, and that player was injured as a result.

Scott Hannan isn't exactly made out of glass, either. Over the past two seasons he's only missed one game (to the flu), and only six games in the past seven seasons.

Hopefully Hannan will be alright, and the example made of such a skilled player will be a wake-up call for both the Georges Laraques (currently serving a five game suspension) and Alexander Ovechkins (fined for a slew foot earlier in the season) of the league.

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