You always hate to see someone get hurt by an ugly hit in the National Hockey League, with the possible exception of seeing it happen to a player you hate, but it's amplified many times over when it happens to an NHL rookie.
On Saturday afternoon the Philadelphia Flyers were taking on the Las Vegas Golden Knights in front of their home crowd at the Wells Fargo Center and unfortunately for the Flyers' fans in attendance it was a rather uneventful game. At the time of this writing we have just a few short minutes remaining in the game and throughout the entire contest there has only been a single goal.
This should have been a relatively easy game given the Golden Knights record leading up until this point in the regular season but it was the Golden Knights who recorded the game's only goal. Unfortunately for the Flyers they seemed out of the game for a while and the Flyers bench seemed largely uninspired. That is until a big hit from NHL veteran enforcer Brayden McNabb laid out one of the Flyers' rookies and forced him out of the game.
22 year old Oskar Lindblom was attempting to make a play as he chased the puck down the ice but he likely didn't know that he was being closely shadowed by McNabb. It seems fair to say after seeing the replay that McNabb's intentions the entire time was to deliver the hit to Lindblom in spite of the fact that the young rookie forward was largely defenseless when the hit finally did come.
Now to McNabb's defense it does look like the rookie made a huge and sharp turn towards the boards as he gained control of the puck and that likely made the hit delivered by McNabb considerably worse. It seems unlikely that this will impact the NHL's decision here however as McNabb is a repeat offender and there was no penalty called on the play as well as NHL officials seemed to miss the hit.
Needless to say the Flyers were furious about the incident and no doubt they will petition the league to take a second look at this.,