The 2015-16 season is over for the Philadelphia Flyers, but they will be missing one of its top six forwards to start the 2016-17 season.
Brayden Schenn was suspended for three games for charging T.J. Oshie, and it is unknown how much of his paycheck he will forfeit since he’s not under contract for next season. The hit came during Game 6 of the Flyers & Washington Capitals first round playoff series on Sunday, April 24, 2016. Schenn came flying into the corner and caught Oshie up high while leaving his skates. There was no penalty called on the play. Oshie went to the locker room following the hit, but he would return to finish the game. The series was a physical one and there was more than one questionable hit that could have been reviewed by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
In Game 3, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare sent Dmitry Orlov into the boards from behind and was suspended one game for the act. Orlov was hit and stayed down afterwards. Ryan White legally hit Brooks Orpik in Game 3 against the boards and Orpik has been out since with an injury. Schenn and other Flyers had thrown some hits that Barry Trotz and the Capitals weren’t particularly happy with so they sent video of those hits to the NHL, who was watching Schenn closely during Game 6. Schenn did leave his skates and caught Oshie up high so the play should have been reviewed by the NHL, but there were some other hits thrown by the Capitals that weren’t even looked at by the League that were worse.
Jake Voracek was away from the boards trying to get a loose puck and Jason Chimera came up and drilled him into the boards head first. Voracek was down for a few seconds, but got up and skated over to the Philadelphia bench. There was a 2:00 boarding penalty called on the play. If Voracek had stayed down, would the penalty have been 5:00, and would it have been reviewed by the League? It seems as though the League only reviews hits if players get hurt or stay down on the ice and don’t pop right back up. Shayne Gostisbehere was caught by Alex Ovechkin with a knee-to-knee hit, but because Gostisbehere managed to avoid most of the hit attempt, there was no penalty called on the play nor was it reviewed by the NHL.
The NHL Department of Player Safety has been so inconsistent on which hits and plays get reviewed and which ones don’t. They need to become more consistent, and the players need to be smart, before a players gets seriously hurt because of either a hit to the head or a check from behind into the boards.