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“Players and fans and GMs still won’t necessarily agree with the decisions, but it explains them in better detail,” said Shanahan.

While head hits have gone from an automatic major penalty to a minor and possible match penalty, the supplemental discipline _ suspensions _ have risen dramatically.

James Wisniewski of the Columbus Blue Jackets was nailed for eight regular season games that will cost him $536,000 in salary for his shot to the head of Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck on Sept. 26.

Philadelphia’s Jody Shelley, Anaheim’s Jean-Francois Jacques and Detroit’s Brendan Smith each got five games, Brad Staubitz of the Wild got three, Toronto’s Clarke MacArthur and Philadelphia’s Tom Sestito got two and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond of Calgary got one.

All also missed games in the preseason, as did first-time offender Brad Boyes of Buffalo.

While Shanahan looked like a hanging judge through the first two weeks of the exhibition season, not every head hit gets hammered.

The rule allows hits when the victim puts himself in a vulnerable position, as Montreal’s Chris Campoli learned after he was flattened by Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone.

Shanahan called it his most challenging decision thus far, but ruled no suspension because Malone had already committed to the hit and Campoli leaned forward and left himself vulnerable.

Terry Gregson, the NHL’s director of officiating, said officials will call the hits as they see them, but the main punishment for severe cases will come from the league.

“Illegal checks to the head are something we want to take out of the game, so if you see it, you have to react to it,” said Gregson. “But once you’ve done that, it’s in the hands of supplementary discipline and they have the opportunity to do video replay.

“Our guys are the only people that judge this in real time. The media and everyone else judges it in video time.”