His grade depends on what your expectations were of Shanahan. The governors and GM's have a lot of clout and have given him parameters to deal with.
At first, it did seem like he had authorization to go heavy on the suspensions to clean up the game. But that quickly disappeared after Wiz got 8 games for his shot on Clutterbuck in the pre-season and set CBJ off to a horrible start. I mean, he gave Brendan Smith of Detroit 3 pre-season and 5 regular season games for a head shot that you could at least say was a hockey play, yet at the end of the season, he gives Keith 5 games for an elbow that is nowhere close to a hockey play.
So, Shanny didn't have the automony to make the final call the way he saw fit.
That's life in the NHL. Doesn't matter if the player you elbow remains in the game, ala Doan on Benn or whether you knock that player out for 40 games, ala Bourque on Backstrom, you will get close to the same number of games. Just a matter of how unlucky the victim.
Overall, the videos are a great improvement, but overall player safety hasn't really been addressed by the league. Grade, C+, mainly because of the videos. Without the videos, it's a C-.
Did start off very well. Seemed to mirror the NHL's tolerance of penalties as the season wore on; as in he turned a blind eye to many sure suspensions much as referees turned a blind eye to interference and obstruction as the season wore on.
The transparency and explanations were a welcome process. This is where he gets his highest marks. But still inconsistent as his predecessor and yes, players do not fear retribution from the league as evidenced by the spike in controversial hits. So overall a -C.
Liked what he was doing at the beginning of the season. Thought he was way too inconsistent towards the end. I agree that the turning point seemed to be the Lucic/Miller incident.
I do like his explanation videos though. I think it's great that we get to see the thought process that goes behind the suspensions, but I think it'd be even better if he made videos on why someone DOESN'T get suspended.