[UPDATE: Wilson has decided not to appeal the suspension.]
The NHL suspended Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson seven games for his hit on Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo. This came after an “in-person” zoom meeting with the Department of Player Safety.
The league describes the Tom Wilson check as “a high, hard hit” and boarding. Carlo ended up being hospitalized on Friday, but was eventually released. In the explanation video, the Department of Player Safety described Carlo as “defenseless.”
Interestingly, the league acknowledged that the Tom Wilson hit could blur the line between being worthy of a suspension or not.
Tom Wilson suspended for fifth time
They also note that Wilson, 26, has been suspended four times, and fined on two other occasions.
So, this is now the fifth suspension of Wilson’s career. It’s his first since the start of the 2018-19 season. On the other hand, Wilson’s accrued all of this supplemental discipline since just September 2017.
Here’s a list of the four other times the NHL suspended Tom Wilson.
- Sept. 22. 2017: Two preseason games for a hit on Blues forward Robert Thomas.
- Oct. 1, 2017: The NHL suspended Tom Wilson for four games for boarding Sammy Blais, also of the Blues.
- May 1, 2018: Three playoff games for an illegal check to the head of Zach Aston-Reese (Penguins).
- Sept. 20, 2018: Tom Wilson was initially suspended 20 games for an illegal hit to the head of Oskar Sundqvist, also of the Blues. Eventually, Wilson was able to reduce that suspension to 14 games via an appeal.
Between fines and hits that went without punishment, there have been plenty of other checks that caused debate in the hockey world. Considering Wilson’s age (again, 26), it’s possible we’re in for more back-and-forths about heavy hits.
In that league release, the NHL noted that Wilson may also appeal this seven-game suspension.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.