Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn will have a hearing with NHL Player Safety later today for his late hit from behind on New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson from last night's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Check it out:
Nelson was absolutely rocked by Killorn on his blind side, literally seconds after he had moved the puck up along the boards.
Here's the hit in question:
Killorn was assessed a five minute major and a game misconduct for this hit, while Nelson left to undergo concussion protocol. Incredibly though, Nelson returned to play only to get absolutely ROCKED again in his very first shift back.
Check it out:
It'll be interesting to see what kind of punishment, if any, Killorn receives for his hit on Nelson. To be 100% perfectly honest, I could see this going literally any way. I could see the league giving Killorn a game, maybe a two game suspension, but at the same time I could also see them giving him a fine or simply let him walk away with no supplemental discipline. NHL Player Safety is nearly impossible to predict and this hit just has all the makings of another situation where Player Safety spins the random wheel of justice. What do you think? A game suspension? A fine? Nothing?
Is it worth noting that Killorn was given the maximum penalty for the hit during the game. While the Islanders couldn't capitalize on their five minute powerplay, there's not much more the referees on the ice can do to penalize Killorn. It'll be interesting to see if that factors into NHL Player Safety's decision making at all. Often times we'll see a suspension handed out if a play goes unpenalized on the ice.
It's clear that Nelson got his brain scrambled from this hit and, frankly, I don't know how he was allowed to get back on the ice. It was pretty obvious that he was in a bad, bad way. In any case, if he was assessed by qualified trainers and allowed to continue to play, then I'll have to concede my own hunch. I'll assume that the professionals know more than I do.