Wilson, Schenn both to blame for 'devastating' hit

Wilson, Schenn both to blame for 'devastating' hit
December 19, 2013, 4:15 pm
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Over the next day or two there will be plenty of discussion over whether Capitals right wing Tom Wilson deserved a suspension for his big hit on Flyers center Brayden Schenn Tuesday night.

Capitals general manager George McPhee made his opinion clear after the game by saying Wilson made a “great hit” on Schenn and Caps coach Adam Oates took it one step further today by saying Schenn made himself a target with an ‘incorrect” play.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren told CSNPhilly.com that both Wilson and Schenn should be held responsible for the collision, and in a blog for TSN.ca, former NHL referee Kerry Fraser agreed.

So, who’s right?

Everyone, actually.

The Capitals reacted to Wilson’s hit the way a lot of NHL teams would. They had to know the Department of Player Safety would review Wilson’s hit and McPhee and Oates were hoping to give Brendan Shanahan pause for thought by saying they didn’t even think the hit deserved a penalty.

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In theory, the Caps were hoping a strong defense of Wilson might influence the league to either not suspend him or at least keep the suspension to a minimal number of games.

Holmgren and Flyers coach Craig Berube refrained from saying Wilson should be suspended for the hit, acknowledging that Schenn could have protected himself better.

The bottom line, and perhaps the greatest truth, lies in what Fraser had to say about the hit and that’s the fact that Wilson set his sights on Schenn from a considerable distance and accelerated in his final two strides, making the hit “devastating and violent.”

That’s what made Wilson’s actions a suspendable offense