No longer the benefit of the doubt in the mind of Connor McDavid.
When asked about the heated exchanges between himself and Brandon Manning in Thursday's 6-5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, McDavid explained that the defenseman insinuated to him that the questionable contact, and subsequent devastating broken collarbone he suffered last season, was caused by a deliberate act.
"You know what, I did all I could defending him last year in the media," McDavid said via the Edmonton Oilers Facebook page. "Everyone wanted to make it a big deal, say he did it on purpose. He wanted to say some comments today about what went on last year. I thought it was one of the (most) classless things I've ever seen on the ice. He said some things, and our guys responded accordingly.
"But I guess we can put the whole 'if he did it on purpose' thing to rest, because what he said out there confirmed that. It shows what kind of guy he is when he doesn't step up and fight some of our guys."
In the other locker room, Manning used the same buzzword, calling the Oilers captain "classless" for chirping at him, and the Flyers bench, according to Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
He issued this statement through Flyers' Public Relations:
"I think anybody who knows me or who has played with or against me along the road here, knows that I am not that kind of player. I am not out there intentionally trying to hurt people. I'm a guy who plays the game hard and I take pride in that. I think going back to last year, it was a total accident, I mean, there were three players involved and there was never any intention on hurting anyone."
McDavid and Manning butted heads on more than one occasion, with McDavid appearing to be the aggressor in at least two incidents. He initiated some pushing and shoving in the first period, and then went at Manning after celebrating his power-play goal.