Washington Capitals rookie forward Tom Wilson had a hearing with the NHL on Thursday to review his crushing hit on Flyers defenseman Brayden Schenn on Tuesday night. After the hearing, Brendan Shanahan and the Department of Player Safety decided not to suspend Wilson.
This is a decision that no doubt comes as a surprise to a lot of people, everybody but Capitals coach Adam Oates that is. He remained adamant that he felt the hit was clean -- or at least not one deserving of a suspension. The violence of the impact was jarring and seeing Schenn fly into the boards and then struggle to get back up had people anticipating a suspenison.
However this must be said: Shanahan goes through a very thorough explanation as to why this hit is not worthy of a suspension and obviously his points are sound. It's tough to see anything in particular that makes the hit suspendable, especially when Shanahan and crew accept that Wilson was entering the zone to forecheck.
The onus in this case was as much on Schenn as it was on Wilson, the turn of the Schenn away from the hit didn't help himself at all. But the thought from most people wasn't the boading aspect of the hit that was cause for question, it was the way he flew into the hit from so far away. Shanahan explains why the office ruled that was OK as well.
This is a great video explanation and whether or not you agree with the decision even after it -- remember, Wilson was penalized with a five-minute major and a game misconduct and this penalty greatly changed the dynamic of that game -- it can't be denied they make a great case for the entire thinking. This kind of transparency is fantastic, moreso when the NHL decides NOT to suspend than when it decides to suspend.
Schenn, by the way, was obviously hurt on the hit but will be in the lineup on Thursday night for the Flyers. He didn't undergo concussion protocol after the hit.