04/11/2014 12:13 EDT | Updated 06/11/2014 05:59 EDT

Stephane Quintal replaces Brendan Shanahan as NHL disciplinarian

The National Hockey League on Friday announced that Stephane Quintal will head its Department of Player Safety, effective immediately and through to the end of the playoffs.

The announcement comes on the heels of Brendan Shanahan leaving the role to join the Toronto Maple Leafs as president.

Shanahan had been the NHL's chief disciplinarian since 2011, the same year Quintal joined the group.

Quintal, 45, will step into the hot seat of issuing decisions on suspensions and fines related to on-ice conduct as the games ramp up in terms of importance, with the playoffs beginning on April 16.

There were five suspensions during the 2013 post-season, down from 13 the previous playoff campaign.

Of more immediate concern for Quintal's group will be to determine whether a couple of contentious plays from Thursday night's NHL action warrant further discipline. Canadiens defenceman Douglas Murray received a penalty for checking from behind for his hit on the Islanders' Johan Sundstrom, while Minnesota's Mike Rupp blindsided the Blues' T.J. Oshie. 

Quintal was a first-round draft choice of the Boston Bruins in 1987 who went on to play 1,037 games as an NHL defenceman. The Boucherville, Que., native played for the Montreal Canadiens for seven of those seasons, with stops also in St. Louis, Winnipeg, Chicago and New York with the Rangers.