Dropping the Gloves: Should Wilson be suspended for Schenn hit?
Tom Wilson on Thursday was not disciplined by the NHL for his hit on Brayden Schenn in the Flyers' 5-2 win over the Capitals on Tuesday. (USA Today Images)
The NHL Department of Player Safety decided Thursday after an "extensive review of the video" that Capitals forward Tom Wilson would not be disciplined for his hit on Brayden Schenn during the Flyers' 5-2 victory Tuesday.
"Although the end result is a violent collision with the boards," a spokesman for the department said. "We have consistently applied the standard as outlined in the rule book that we must determine whether the player receiving the check has turned his back just prior to or simultaneous with the check in a way that greatly contributes to the outcome.
"The video evidence shows that having just looked at Wilson, Schenn begins to turn his back in an effort to avoid the contact which actually contributed to making this hit worse."
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Wednesday that the players have to take more responsibility for hits such as Wilson's on Schenn (see story).
“A player who has the puck along the boards in that position, the onus falls on both the hitter and the guy who is going to get hit,” Holmgren said. “Player safety department, overall, does a good job. They look out for the health and welfare of the players.”
Capitals head coach Adam Oates maintained from the beginning that the hit was clean and that the league should not take action against Wilson, via CSNWashington.com.
“It was shoulder to shoulder,” Oates said. “He didn’t leave his feet or anything. To me, Schenn saw Willy and had every opportunity to resist the hit.
“It’s not a dirty hit, it’s not a late hit. Nothing [to] the numbers, no elevation. The kid [Schenn] chose to try to spin out. Wrong choice. To me, it’s a totally clean hit.”
Capitals general manager George McPhee on Thursday also said he agrees with the outcome.
“We agree with the league’s position that it was a clean hit,” McPhee said in a statement. “There should not have been a penalty on the play.
“It was a punishing hit, not predatory or otherwise illegal. Under our current rules, punishing but clean hits are permitted. We are happy that Tom Wilson was vindicated and Brayden Schenn is not injured.”
Despite the hit, Schenn was able to return to action Thursday against the Blue Jackets (see story).