No hearing for Austin Watson after head shot that injured Tyler Motte

New York Rangers forward Tyler Motte was injured on a high hit to the head by Ottawa Senators forward Auston Watson on Thursday night.

According to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, there will be no hearing by the NHL Department of Player Safety for the hit. “It was determined the play wasn’t charging and criteria didn’t rise to Illegal Check to the Head,” he tweeted, “North/south hit through the body with unavoidable head contact.”

In the video embedded in the tweet below, it’s clear that Watson, who has a history of suspensions, not only targeted Motte’s head but also lifts his elbow to inflict more damage.

Watson was rightfully ejected out of the game after being assessed a five minute major for charging and a game misconduct. The referees even reviewed the hit to determine the call. Which makes the NHL’s determination that it wasn’t a charge all the more confusing.

Let’s just be thankful Watson didn’t spit on him by accident.

Tyler Motte injured

new york rangers
Feb 20, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck (37) makes a save while New York Rangers center Tyler Motte (14) waits for a rebound during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

After the game, Gerard Gallant had this to say about the hit and Motte’s status.

“I don’t know nothing on him, just day-to-day,” he said. “It was a bad hit. It was the right call. It obviously got him high.”

Motte, 27, has 10 points in 44 games this season. Since being reacquired by the Blueshirts from the Senators for Julien Gauthier and a conditional seventh-round pick on February 19, he picked up one assist in six games.