Just about everyone has shared their take on the devastating hit by Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson, a hit that resulted in Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo being taken to the hospital in an ambulance and a hit that also resulted in a 7 game suspension for Wilson courtesy of the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety. One person who had yet to get his two cents in however was none other than hockey's most famous curmudgeon, Don Cherry.
I must admit I was actually curious to hear Cherry's take on this one for a few reasons. For starters everyone knows that Cherry has always been a fan of big hits in the NHL, something that his famous Rock'Em Sock'Em hockey movies would attest to. He has also however been known to be a big supporter of the Boston Bruins, two things that would seemingly be at odds in this situation. Interestingly enough Cherry offered a pretty nuanced take on this one, first saying that there was no question Wilson should have been punished for the infraction.
"He should have got a penalty, I mean you run a guy like that..." said Cherry in regards to the hit on Carlo during his most recent podcast. "He did run him from behind."
In spite of the hit on Carlo and in spite of the fact that he feels Wilson should have been suspended for the infraction, it does not sound like it has had much of an impact on Cherry's views on Wilson as a player.
"I really like Tom Wilson," said Cherry. "I love Tom Wilson, I wish I had.... if I had 20 Tom Wilson's I would never lose."
The one thing that Cherry did seem to object to however was the length of the suspension that was handed down on the Capitals forward. Although Cherry acknowledged that Wilson had a lengthy history of being disciplined by the NHL, he felt that the hit itself as well as the circumstances of this current season made the penalty too harsh.
"I don't know 7 games though, that's 14 games because of the shortened season," said Cherry.
"Tom Wilson got 7 games, I didn't think he would get 7 games."