In case you missed the news from yesterday, Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has been suspended 20 games by NHL Player Safety for his blindside hit on St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist from Sunday evening.
In case you missed the hit, here it is:
While we’re not fans of players cutting into the middle of the ice with their head down… Wilson’s hit is a textbook suspendible play. Blindside, hit to the head from a player with a history of suspensions. It’s really no surprise that the NHL decided to throw the book at him.
In any case, Sundqvist's future is still up in the air while he recovers from his injury, but we know the fate of Wilson... he'll sit for 20 games. Or will he? According to a report from Capitals insider Isabelle Khurshudyan, Wilson will appeal his suspension with the NHL.
UPDATE: Sportsnet's Chris Johnston has confirmed that Wilson will indeed appeal his suspension.
In her latest column for The Washington Post, Khurshudyan reports that the Capitals felt Wilson would receive a suspension of roughly 10 games.
Washington officials privately suspected he’d be suspended roughly 10 games, and the 20-game ban is the most severe discipline the Department of Player Safety has handed down since Raffi Torres was suspended 41 games in 2015 for an illegal hit to an opponent’s head. That was the fifth suspension of Torres’s career, and his fourth suspension had been for 25 games three years earlier.
While there's no doubt that 20 games is a lot... you'd have to be pretty naive to think that a suspension that long wouldn't be on the table. After all, just look at Wilson's track record. In a run down of all of Wilson's indiscretions during his short NHL career, The Sporting News' Brendan Schlager uncovered this interesting statistic about the NHL's biggest pest:
Heading into the 2018-19 season, no player in the NHL has been penalized more since Wilson entered the league in 2013. Of his 255 penalties (regular-season only) during that span, roughly 20 percent have been majors (58). They add up to 806 minutes, including 11 misconducts and a match penalty. Only two other players (Antoine Roussel and Cody McLeod at 707) have more than 600 penalty minutes. Again, these figures don't even include his postseason misbehavior.
Perhaps the toughest pill for Wilson to swallow? He'll surrender an INSANE $1.2 million dollars as a result of his 20 games suspension.
Washington #Capitals forward Tom Wilson, who is considered a repeat offender per the CBA, will forfeit a total of $1,260,162.44 as a result of his 20 game suspension.
Ouch... that hurts the wallet just a bit.
Source: Isabelle Khurshydyan
Photo Credit: Zuma Press