Philadelphia Flyers winger Brayden Schenn will be the first player to sit out games in 2016-17 due to suspension, and he’ll have the whole summer to think about the hit that has him missing the first three games of the upcoming season.
Schenn, who will turn 25 this off-season, has been handed a three-game ban for charging Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie in Game 6 of the first-round series between the two clubs. Schenn’s hit came in late in the second period of the contest when Oshie was attempting to dig the puck out of the left wing corner in the Flyers’ zone.
Oshie was pulling the puck out of the feet of Alex Ovechkin after the Capitals captain threw a hit in the corner when Schenn approached Oshie from the side and, per the suspension video released by the Department of Player Safety, drove upwards through a check that caught Oshie high. Schenn’s hit is made worse by the fact there is “significant contact with the head” of Oshie on the play:
“Rather than staying low and delivering a hit through Oshie’s shoulder and chest, Schenn launches himself up and into Oshie, making substantial contact with Oshie’s head,” the Department of Player Safety noted in the suspension video. “Schenn’s elevation is evident, as he remains airborne until he crashes into the boards.”
The three-game ban may seem stiff given that Flyers center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare only received a one-game suspension for an equally, if not more, dangerous hit on Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov, but the length of the suspension for Schenn is tied to his history. Bellermare had never received supplemental discipline before his one-game suspension, but Schenn has previously been hit with a one-game suspension and a fine from the league.
Because the Flyers were eliminated from the post-season in Game 6, Schenn’s ban will carry over to the 2016-17 season, and any financial punishment will be tied to the contract he signs in the off-season. He’s currently a restricted free agent, and he said he hopes to sign long-term with the Flyers.