Thursday, December 19, 2013

Video: Tom Wilson will not be punished for Schenn hit

The NHL's Department of Player Safety has reviewed the tape from Tuesday's Flyers-Capitals game and there will be no supplemental discipline handed out to Caps forward Tom Wilson for his charge against Brayden Schenn.

Brendan Shanahan explains why:

Capitals GM George McPhee -- who adamantly defended Wilson -- released a statement after the ruling was handed down: “We agree with the league’s position that it was a clean hit.  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.”

The decision runs counter-intuitively to the way previous suspensions have been doled out by Shanahan, namely a hit did not have to have been penalized to draw supplemental discipline.

In this case, a three-minute long breakdown and explanation was not necessary to explain either side. Played in real time and seen in real time, Wilson approached Schenn with ill intent and appeared to injure him on a hit that was rewarded with a major and game misconduct. It calls for supplemental discipline reviewed at any speed.

What mystifies even more is that Schenn is back in the lineup tonight as the Flyers start a home-and-home against the Columbus Blue Jackets. If the tweeted report from the Courier Post is true, that a concussion diagnosis would have led to a two-game suspension at minimum, the club itself caused part of this furor by not disregarding Schenn's own prognosis and providing concussion testing anyway.

Bank on the fact that Schenn will leave the game after taking a hit that doesn't seem as harmless as the one he received from Wilson -- and that will trigger the symptoms that apparently remained hidden in Tuesday's post-game.

Outrage has begun to spread beyond the bounds of the Delaware Valley, as this brief missive came from Buffalo News Sabres beat man Mike Harrington:  "Everyone loving Shanahan's transparency. Golf claps to him. Do it for all of the hits, not just ones on NBC games."

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