Trotz: Wilson isn’t afraid of Boulton

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Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson isn’t afraid of Eric Boulton’s despite the New York Islanders forward’s claim to the contrary — at least that was the message from Capitals coach Barry Trotz.

Wilson has a heated history with the Islanders as a big hit from him ended Lubomir Visnovsky’s 2014-15 campaign and led Kyle Okposo to calling him an “idiot.” Wilson thought that perhaps those hostilities ended with the season, but Boulton and Scott Mayfield tried to draw him into a fight during Monday’s exhibition game between the Capitals and Islanders.

Wilson didn’t take the bait and while Boulton asserted that Wilson “was scared to death” of him, Trotz offered a very different explanation.

“I told (Wilson) before the game there’s only one reason the Islander player is in the lineup and I don’t want him to fight him,” Trotz told CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I said I need for you to play. I also told him if (Boulton) is on the ice with you, you’ve got to be involved. You don’t want to get jumped. If he’s coming at you and you can’t get out of it you’ve got to go at it.

“But I told him to back off and play. He’s not scared of anybody or anything. I just need him to play.”

Trotz wants Wilson to still be a “hard and nasty” player, but he also plans to use him in an expanded role. Wilson will help kill penalties this season and might eventually get a role with the man advantage after getting almost no special teams ice time last season.