[UPDATE: The NHL Department of Player Safety has suspended Tom Wilson seven games.]
It looks like Capitals forward Tom Wilson could be facing another lengthy suspension.
The NHL Department of Player Safety has announced that Wilson has been offered an in-person hearing (via Zoom) for his high hit on Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo on Friday night.
The date and time of the hearing has not yet been determined, while the department specified it is reviewing this as a “boarding” hit. The Capitals’ next game is Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The incident happened in the first period of the Bruins’ 5-1 win over the Capitals and resulted in Carlo leaving the game and being taken to a local hospital by ambulance.
There was no penalty called on the play.
Tom Wilson has an extensive disciplinary track record with the department and has been suspended multiple times throughout his career for various hits to the head. His most recent suspension was a 20-game suspension (later reduced to 14 games after appeal) for a hit to the head of Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in a 2018 preseason game. That suspension was the fourth time he had been suspended in a 105-game stretch. That included a three-game playoff suspension.
The fact the league has made this an “in-person” hearing means any suspension could go beyond five games. History suggests that if they offer a player such a hearing, that it almost always goes beyond that mark. When you combine Wilson’s history (multiple suspensions, including his most recent significant one) as well as the fact Carlo was injured this has the potential to be significant.
This is Wilson’s second controversial hit in a week and comes after a late hit to Penguins forward Mark Jankowski. That hit was penalized, but did not result in any supplemental discipline.