Edmonton Oilers winger Taylor Hall threw a vicious hit on Cal Clutterbuck of the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. Hall is awaiting a disciplinary hearing with NHL vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan on Friday afternoon, but there has been no shortage of cries for the 21-year-old to be suspended from those who watched the play live or have seen the replay.
The puck was clearly bouncing away from Clutterbuck, and Hall sized him up and followed through with the collision anyway. It initially looked like a knee-on-knee hit, but upon viewing the replay it appears that Hall did hit Clutterbuck with his hip. However, that simple fact does not make the hit clean.
To me, it appears obvious that Hall at least leaned out and led with his knee — regardless of whether or not it was his knee that made contact with Clutterbuck’s lower body. The play was dangerous, and we’ve seen Shanahan suspend players for far less. Hall has a reputation for being a tough young kid (photo evidence here) and is not known as a dirty player by any means, but the league needs to make an example of him here. Those are the types of plays that shorten careers. There’s no place in hockey for a hit like that.