April 26, 2016
After the Flyers season ended on Sunday at the hands of the Washington Capitals, Brayden Schenn wasn’t off the hook.
The Flyers winger, who set a career high with 59 points in 2015-16, had a meeting with the Department of Player Safety on Tuesday for a hit he made on T.J. Oshie in the elimination game. And whether or not he returns to the Flyers after restricted free agency, Schenn is paying a big price. He has been suspended for the first three games of the 2016-17 season. Here is the explanation:
The 24-year-old had 187 hits in 80 games this season, and his intensity picked up in the postseason with 21 hits in six games against the Caps. A dirty play by Schenn in Game 4 led to an early fight against Oshie in Game 5, so there was some history there:
This hit by Schenn to the side of Kuznetsov's knee looks even worse in slow motion. pic.twitter.com/xy1AjztgRV— Danny (@recordsANDradio) April 21, 2016
Still, as many of these decisions tend to be, the ruling is controversial. For example, listen to Schenn's linemate.
"I saw the hit once," Claude Giroux said after the ruling came down. "I didn't think anything of it to be honest. I didn't think he was going to get a hearing, but I got to look at the hit again. I didn't really take a look at it."
“Well, I know they were obviously watching me close in that series,” Schenn said after his hearing but before the decision. “To be honest, I didn’t even know that I hit Oshie in the head. It wasn’t the initial point of contact. I did hit him in the shoulder first and then hit his head after.”
In the past, both Schenn and Dave Hakstol have talked about physicality fueling the rest of Schenn’s game.
“I think in the Washington series you see it’s just me playing playoff hockey,” Schenn said. “It’s a seven-game series, you got to try to wear the other team down and be physical.”
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann