Tom Wilson suspended 20 games for pre-season hit, Report.
During the Washington Capitals’ final preseason game against the St Louis Blues, Tom Wilson delivered a high head hit to forward Oskar Sundkvist. Wilson received a match penalty and was ejected from the game.
Sunday night, following the game, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced that Wilson had been offered an in-person hearing for the hit. The offer allowed Player Safety to suspend Wilson for six games or more.
That meeting took place on Wednesday morning, at the NHL’s New York Offices. Wilson has been suspended for 20 games.
The reasoning behind the 20 game suspension from the league is as follows:
“Players cutting to the center of the ice understand and accept that they may be the recipient of a hard, full-body hit from an opponent. However, rather than hitting through Sundqvist’s core and delivering a legal, full-body check, Wilson takes a poor angle of approach that picks Sundqvist’s head and makes it the main point of contact.”
“The head contact on this play is avoidable,” and “this hit is entirely in Wilson’s control.”
And, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, “Players who repeatedly violate league rules will be more severely punished for each new violation.”
The suspension marks Wilson’s fourth in the last two seasons. Wilson was suspended twice during the 2017-18 preseason, both against forwards on the St. Louis Blues. He was suspended again during the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs for a head hit on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese.
According to the league, this is a surprisingly high number of suspensions.
Per NHL DPS: “Including preseason and postseason, this is Wilson’s fourth suspension in his last 105 games, an unprecedented frequency of suspensions”- Wowzers