In case you missed it, Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has been granted an in-person hearing with the NHL to defend himself from supplemental discipline following a nasty blindside hit on St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist.
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. This one has “throw the book at him” written all over it. If that wasn’t enough to warrant a long-term suspension for Wilson, just take a look at the damage Sundqvist sustained:
Reaction from around the NHL has been decidedly mixed. Longtime NHLer and Sportsnet analyst Brad May commended Wilson for the hit saying that he "loves it."
Not sure what the NHL thinks about this hit, but I love it. I’m sick of players cutting into the middle of the ice with no awareness. Get your head up, there are other players on the ice. Especially back checkers.
On the other end of the spectrum, Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby came out today and condemned Wilson for the hit saying, "there's no need to hit like that."
“I don’t know how many opportunities you need. But obviously the point hasn’t been made yet.”
Crosby's teammate, veteran Matt Cullen echoed his captain's sentiment saying:
“He’s one of those old-school guys.But the game has changed. There’s no place for it anymore. It’s out of our hands. It’s up to the league to make a statement. If they want to change the game, they’ve got to make a statement on these hits. It’s up to the league to make a statement.”
Penguins fans surely remember just how big of an impact Wilson had on the team during last spring's second round playoff matchup. Who can forget Wilson absolutely OBLITERATING forward Zach Aston-Reese:
He also delivered a head shot to Penguins blue liner Brian Dumoulin in the same series:
Regardless of where you come down on hits like this, it seems like a foregone conclusion that Wilson WILL receive supplemental discipline. His meeting with the NHL is slated for tomorrow morning at 9am ET in New York.