Breaking: NHL rules in the Wilson/Marchessault hit from Game 1 of SCF

Oh man… who saw this coming!?

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According to a report by USA Today’s Kevin Allen, there will be NO hearing for Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson following his late hit on Vegas Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault.

No hearing for Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson for his penalized hit on Jonathan Marchessault.

This is in line with an earlier report from ESPN's Greg Wyshynski:

As of about 20 min ago, no official word on Tom Wilson from NHL Player Safety. One source told me they see the hit as slightly if not egregiously late, but that lack of head contact (it was shoulder to shoulder) is a big consideration. Personally, would be surprised if suspended.

No official word yet from the NHL.

In case you missed it last night, Wilson absolutely ROCKED Marchessault with a late neutral zone hit that ended up sending Marchessault to the trainer’s room for concussion evaluation.

Here’s the hit:

Oof… that’s gotta hurt. Not only is the hit very late, but it’s also a textbook blindside hit, as well. Marchessault doesn’t see Wilson coming and has no time to brace for an impact. In the end, Marchessault would shake things off and come back just a few shifts later.

To be fair, Wilson does NOT target the head and there are seemingly no ill effects for Marchessault. Still, it’s an interesting precedent being set by the NHL with this decision. 

After last night’s victory, Marchessault was asked to comment on Wilson and the hit, but Vegas’ leading scorer elected to take the high road.

Jonathan Marchessault on Tom Wilson: “A couple seconds late. I don’t really have to talk about it. The league’s going to take care of it.”

His teammate Ryan Reaves though took the bait saying, “It was a late blindside hit like Wilson always does.”

Ryan Reaves on Marchessault/Wilson hit: “It was a late blindside hit like Wilson always does.”

Wilson was assessed an interference penalty on the play, but given his track record and the potential for such a catastrophic injury as a result, supplemental discipline was expected from fans and media members alike. If nothing else, this decision just goes to show that it’s almost impossible to predict the actions, or reactions, from NHL Player Safety.