Capitals ahead Tom Wilson has lengthy been a infamous NHL delinquent and Undesirable No. 1 for the league’s Department of Player Safety by way of his polarizing career. His controversial taking part in model is efficient at flustering opponents and angering their fan bases, however typically it goes too far, leading to harm.
He had gone virtually 2 1/2 years with out formal punishment from the league regardless of persevering with to play with reckless abandon, as a result of the NHL’s ambiguous guidelines relating to upper-body contact make these varieties of performs troublesome to prosecute. He lastly acquired justice with a seven-game suspension — which can price him $311,781.61 — for boarding the Bruins’ Brandon Carlo in a March 5 recreation.
As of March 6, no participant within the NHL has been penalized extra since Wilson entered the league in 2013. Of his 333 penalties (regular-season solely) throughout that span, greater than 20 p.c have been majors (72). They add as much as 1,052 minutes, together with 16 misconducts and two match penalties. Only three different gamers (Antoine Roussel, Cody McLeod and Evander Kane) have greater than 700 penalty minutes. Again, these figures do not even embody his postseason misbehavior.
Wilson has now been suspended 5 instances and fined twice by the league.
Regardless of 1’s opinion about Wilson’s play, one factor cannot be debated: He has repeatedly positioned himself in conditions worthy of scrutiny. Here’s a basic timeline recapping every of these situations.
This article was initially printed in 2018. Tom Gatto contributed to this report.
Wilson went such a very long time between sanctions not as a result of he had cleaned up his act, however as a result of he hadn’t completed sufficient to get the NHL to concentrate. Then got here his excessive hit on Carlo.
Carlo’s head struck the tip boards glass after Wilson led a test together with his shoulder. Carlo needed to go away the sport and was later taken to a Boston hospital. No penalty was known as, which angered Boston’s bench even more.
The NHL introduced a listening to with Wilson the subsequent day. The league then handed down the seven-game ban.
“While there are aspects of this hit that may skirt the line between suspendable and not suspendable, it is the totality of the cirucmstances that caused this play to merit supplemental discipline,” the Department of Player security stated. “What separates this hit from others is the direct and significant contact to a defenseless player’s face and head, causing a violent impact with the glass. This is a player with a substantial disciplinary record taking advantage of an opponent who is in a defenseless position and doing so with significant force.”
Despite good-faith discussions within the offseason about attempting to tweak a safer taking part in model, Wilson began the 2018-19 season within the place he is been ceaselessly the previous couple of years: In scorching water with the DPoS. In the Capitals’ closing preseason recreation, Wilson blindsided Blues ahead Oskar Sundqvist with a excessive hit. Wilson was given a match penalty, and Sundqvist suffered a concussion and shoulder harm.
As the hockey world known as on the NHL to ship a powerful message as soon as and for all, the league levied its harshest penalty but towards Wilson, suspending him for the primary 20 video games to start the common season. The DPoS cited his standing as a repeat offender and an “unprecedented frequency of suspensions” to justify the longest suspension within the NHL since 2015. Wilson forfeited $1,260,162.60 in wage.
Wilson drew scrutiny on 4 (!) separate events through the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup run. The first was throughout Game 1 of the first-round sequence towards the Blue Jackets when he was penalized for charging Alexander Wennberg. The Department of Player Safety took a glance however in the end dominated towards supplementary self-discipline as a result of the replay angles “could not determine whether or not Wennberg’s head was the main point of contact.” Wilson did not obtain a listening to.
Then, Wilson knocked Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin from Game 2. Dumoulin had been skating in entrance of Wilson, pulling up on the final second to keep away from successful from an incoming Alex Ovechkin. Wilson adopted by way of on his test, hitting Dumoulin within the head, however he wasn’t penalized. Wilson defined the hit as being the results of Dumoulin’s last-second maneuver. He once more averted a listening to with the DoPS.
The most egregious — and the one which lastly landed Wilson a three-game suspension — occurred throughout Game 3, when successful to the top of the Penguins’ Zach Aston-Reese, which broke the rookie’s jaw and triggered a concussion.
Wilson argued the purpose of contact was Aston-Reese’s shoulder, and relying on the angle of the replay, it might be inconclusive as as to whether it constituted an unlawful test to the top under current rules.
Wilson once more stirred up suspension chatter through the Stanley Cup Final’s Game 1, barreling into the blind aspect of Jonathan Marchessault. The Golden Knights’ playoff scoring chief, effectively behind the play, had launched the puck with loads of advance discover for Wilson to ease up. The NHL in the end spared Wilson once more.
Wilson was suspended twice earlier than the 2017-18 season started. He sat out two exhibitions — the NHL equal of a slap on the wrist — for a Sept. 22 hit on the Blues’ Robert Thomas.
Eight days later, Wilson acquired the harshest penalty of his career thus far after boarding Sam Blais in one other exhibition towards the Blues, leading to a significant penalty and a recreation misconduct. The DoPS got here down arduous on Wilson, suspending him for the primary 4 video games of the common season — the one significant suspension Wilson has served till now. He forfeited $97,560.96 in recreation wage.
December 2016: John Moore
Devils defenseman John Moore needed to be stretchered off the ice after Wilson hit him from behind, driving Moore into the boards face first. Wilson wasn’t penalized. Moore was recognized with a concussion and missed 17 video games. The DoPS didn’t prepare a listening to.
April 2016: Conor Sheary
Wilson was spared a suspension however was fined $2,900 (the utmost allowable beneath the NHL’s collective bargaining settlement) for a knee-on-knee collision with Penguins ahead Conor Sheary throughout Game 1 of their second-round sequence in 2016. While skating to the bench, Wilson intentionally went out of his strategy to make contact with Sheary, who was in ache however remained within the recreation. Wilson wasn’t penalized.
April 2016: Nikita Zadorov
Wilson’s April 1 hit on Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov cut up the clean-vs.-dirty dialogue down the center. As Zadorov traced behind the web, Wilson got here barreling down the opposite aspect of the ice and lit up his unsuspecting goal. Zadorov suffered a concussion however performed in every of Colorado’s remaining 4 video games. Wilson, who wasn’t penalized through the recreation, did not obtain a suspension.
December 2015: Brian Campbell
Wilson was ejected within the third interval of a Dec. 10 recreation towards the Panthers for boarding defenseman Brian Campbell. That stood as his solely penalty because the DoPS decided the hit wasn’t suspension-worthy. Campbell did not miss a recreation.
December 2015: Curtis Lazar
Wilson acquired a match penalty for successful to the top of Senators ahead Curtis Lazar, however the penalty was later rescinded by the NHL earlier than Wilson served the obligatory one-game suspension. The Capitals had argued the contact to the top was unintentional, as an alternative attributable to an preliminary test to the hip. The league by no means publicly defined its choice and the match penalty was scrubbed from Wilson’s report.
April 2015: Lubomir Visnovsky
Wilson acquired a charging minor for leveling Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky in Game 4 of the Capitals’ first-round playoff sequence in 2015, a play that injured Visnovsky, a serial concussion sufferer, and saved him out the remaining three video games of the sequence. Wilson wasn’t disciplined additional.
December 2013: Brayden Schenn
Wilson’s first run-in with the NHL’s disciplinarians involved a Dec. 17 hit of the Flyers’ Brayden Schenn, when Wilson charged in from the blue line and leveled Schenn into the tip boards. Wilson was ejected, and the play drew a cellphone listening to with the DoPS. The league in the end determined towards a suspension and as an alternative launched a long-winded video explaining its choice to spare Wilson.
This article has been up to date from its authentic publication to mirror Wilson’s full disciplinary information.