Thursday, December 19, 2013

Breaking Down the Tom Wilson Hit or Why the NHL Got It Right

Against the Flyers Tuesday, forward Tom Wilson crushed Brayden Schenn into the boards, resulting in ejection and Schenn missing the rest of the game.

Immediately, everybody was sure Wilson was a dirty player and would get suspended. However, even the most biased Flyer's fan, after watching the replay a few times, would have to agree that is not the case.

Today, the NHL decided not to punish Wilson. The full video can be seen here:

Here are some key points:

  • Although Wilson came a long way from the bench, he only started to go towards Schenn to hit him when he was already deep in the zone, or as Brendan Shanahan says, what a forward is supposed to do.
  • At first it looked as though Wilson hit Schenn in the back. However, the replay clearly shows he got him square in the shoulder.
  • Schenn actually puts himself into a vulnerable position right before the hit arrives by turning just a little bit. As Shanahan likes to say, this was  'a hockey play gone bad.'
I didn't think it was worth a suspension when I was watching the game, and I certainly don't think so now. I don't always say this, but,

The NHL got one right.

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