I felt Tom Wilson deserved a suspension for his reckless hit on Brayden Schenn. My colleague John Boruk disagrees (see story).
I felt he was like a missile coming in on Schenn from the blue line.
I am convinced Wilson had no intention of trying to get the puck. He wanted Schenn.
If Schenn’s neck had been at a different angle when he went head first into the back boards, he could have suffered a spinal injury.
At some point, that is going to happen, and only then will the NHL devise a constant standard for checking a vulnerable player into the boards.
My point in “Dropping the Gloves” is intent. Wilson intended to destroy Schenn.
NHL Lord of Discipline Brendan Shanahan talked about "intent" in his explanation, but said Wilson’s intent was to hit Schenn and not injure him (see video).
Sherriff Shanny also blamed Schenn for turning into the hit and placing himself in harm’s way.
One thing we have seen consistently from the NHL is there is no consistent standard to what deserves a suspension and what doesn’t. In most cases -- not all -- if the targeted player was severely injured or concussed, the “attacking” player got a suspension.
Schenn was basically unharmed and played Thursday night against Columbus. The league’s Department of Player Safety knew that before it handed down its decision on Wilson.
And I believe that impacted on the decision not to suspend Wilson.
Here’s your comments off Twitter:
Sam Zonshayn @SZonshayn:
There is nothing wrong with skating fast to hit somebody.
-- As Bob Clarke said waaay back in the late 1990s on today’s game: “I was always taught the idea was to get the puck. Separate the man from the puck and get the puck. Now all these guys want to do is hit each other. It’s not about the puck. It’s about the hitting.” What Clarkie said then remains true to this very day even with a different generation of NHLer.
Mike E @mjeike35:
With how dazed schenn was after hit, I cannot believe he was not concussed.
Just think if Kaleta delivered that hit. The league would be up in arms.
-- Indeed, Wilson was not a repeat offender, no history to speak of.
Cam Cole @rcamcole:
Big problem with punishing according to injury, not the act: NHL is encouraging victims to fake or play up severity. Getzlaf, Schenn didn't.
-- It should not take an injury to lead to a suspension. At some point, some day, a player will suffer a permanent spinal injury and only then will we see a change in the league and the player’s association. Both share the blame for now.
Crawford Mackenzie @CrawfordMackenz:
A classic example of watching the play in person vs. the video. In the arena, very clear Wilson made decision to hit earlier.
-- It looked horrific live and in person.
Thom Dennis @THOMPUCKS:
If SCHENN had done that to WILSON he'd get susp/fine. #NHLDBLSTANDARD
-- Actually, if it had been Zac Rinaldo … 10 games.
Robert Caplette @TattooedEnigma:
If they aren't willing to punish an illegal hit with no major injury, they aren't truly trying to rid the game of those hits.
-- No harm, no foul. That’s the simple way to view it, unfortunately.
Darren Kipfer @mvp099:
No way to know, but I felt and said yesterday that it was not a suspendable hit. Saw him coming and turned. Albeit a brutal hit
-- I still felt the intent was there to punish Schenn or whoever had the puck.
Flyers are still on the Lindros concussion protocol?
-- Like many fans I was stunned to hear the Flyers’ doctors did not order a concussion test regardless given that Schenn fell to the ice three times and was wobbly. To me, that spells possible concussion. That Schenn later admitted he could not remember full details of what transpired would indicate memory loss, which is attributable to a concussion. And I’m not a neurologist.