Oilers Star Taylor Hall Must Be Suspended for Dangerous Hit on Cal Clutterbuck

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IFebruary 22, 2013

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 2:  Taylor Hall #4 of the Edmonton Oilers skates during a break in the action against the Colorado Avalanche during a game at the Pepsi Center on February 2, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  The Avalanche beat the Oilers 3-1. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Taylor Hall's knee-on-knee collision with Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck should result in a suspension for the young Edmonton Oilers star, because it was a dirty play that could have resulted in serious injury.

According to TSN's Pierre LeBrun, the 21-year-old forward will meet with the league office Friday for a disciplinary hearing.

Here is the video of the play from Thursday's game, which happened late in the third period with the Wild leading 3-1.

This picture from the Edmonton Journal (h/t Michael Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune) shows that it was a knee-on-knee collision.

These types of hit where a player leads with his knee are extremely dangerous, because they can cause significant injuries that end careers, including ACL tears. The hit also resulted in Hall receiving a five-minute major for kneeing, as well as a game misconduct.

When NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan makes his decision on Hall's punishment, he will consider rule 50.1, which states:

Kneeing is the act of a player leading with his knee and in some cases extending his leg outwards to make contact with his opponent.

Since Clutterbuck does not turn into Hall or make a move evading him that results in a knee collision, plus the fact that the hit clearly wasn't a body check that also included knee-on-knee contact, it should result in a suspension for the Oilers forward.

Hall leads with his knee in a careless and dangerous manner toward a defenseless player.

When you also take into account that Clutterbuck wasn't playing the puck as he skated toward the red line, suspending Hall should be a no-brainer decision for Shanahan.

“What I saw was a player that didn’t even look at the puck and looked like he was trying to hurt a guy,” said Wild coach Mike Yeo after Thursday's game (via NHL.com).

Even though this play looks malicious at first glance, Hall's play throughout his brief NHL career that started in the 2010-11 season proves that he is not a guy who goes out looking to injure players. He certainly does not have a reputation as a dirty player.

Hall has also never been suspended or fined at the NHL level, but unfortunately for him, having a clean record doesn't always help players earn a fine and avoid suspension.  

Jannik Hansen was suspended one game (via TSN's Darren Dreger) by the NHL Wednesday for his elbow to the back of Chicago Blackhawks star Marian Hossa's head, despite not having a fine or a suspension on his NHL record prior to that incident.

Shanahan hasn't show any mercy to young players when giving out suspensions since joining the NHL's Department of Player Safety last season, so expect Hall to get a two- or three-game suspension for his reckless knee-on-knee collision with Clutterbuck.

If Hall receives a suspension, and it's less than five games, he would be able to play in the two teams' next meeting on March 3.


Nicholas Goss is an NHL Lead Writer at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter. He was a credentialed reporter at the 2011 Stanley Cup Final and 2012 NHL playoffs.