Another black mark on Tom Wilson‘s record — in the third period of Thursday’s game in Florida, the oft-criticized Caps forward was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for boarding Panthers d-man Brian Campbell.
The real story here, though, is Wilson.
The 21-year-old has been under fire recently for a series of dangerous hits — ones that haven’t gotten him suspended, but drew the ire of opposing teams. Per a November report from Sportsnet, some rival GMs complained to the league about his hits and want some intervention — not unlike what happened with Zac Rinaldo after he hit Sean Couturier.
Upon hearing of the Sportsnet report, Wilson insisted he wasn’t a dirty player, but also acknowledged his reputation was starting to affect how he approached the game.
“I know that in my career I’ve never been a dirty hitter,” he told the Washington Post. “I’ve always tried to be an honest hitter. I’ve tried to hit clean. I have pride in my physical game. I don’t hit to hurt people.
“I hear about that stuff. It’s tough to kind of go out there and play the fastest game on earth with that in the back of your head.”