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. If that wasn’t enough to warrant a long-term suspension for Wilson, just take a look at the damage Sundqvist sustained:
That's... ugly. And there were people out there actually saying that the hit WASN'T a head shot...
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. It's also worth noting that he'll have to watch from the press box when the Capitals' 2017-18 Stanley Cup banner goes into the rafters at the Capital One Areana at the team's home opener against the Boston Bruins.
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.
Penguins fans may recall just how much havoc Wilson wreaked on the team in last spring's second round Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup. Remember this BRUTAL hit on Pens forward Zach Aston-Reese?
This latest suspension makes it five times that Wilson has received supplemental discipline from the NHL, four suspensions and one fine. Of course, none of the other infractions warranted this kind of punishment from the league. Here's hoping the wrecking ball of a winger finally receives the message.
Source: NHL Player Safety
Photo Credit: Zuma Press