Before we start the 2018-19 NHL season, former UND forward T.J. Oshie’s team will be a man down. One of his teammates got himself in trouble.
On Sunday night, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals were playing their final preseason game against the St Louis Blues. At the 5:18 mark of the second period, Capitals forward Tom Wilson was assessed a match penalty for an illegal check to the head of Blues forward Oskar Sundkvist. According to Blues head coach Mike Yeo, Sundkvist was injured on the play.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Capitals forward, Tom Wilson, he’s a big, physical forward that plays on the edge. Today, Wilson was rewarded for his questionable on-ice behavior (You can see the hit below).
Today, the National Hockey League’s Department of Players safety dropped the hammer on Wilson, he’s been suspended for the first 20 games of the season. Wilson will eligible to play on November 21, 2018, when the Capitals play the Chicago Blackhawks.
Per the NHL — Wilson is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $1,260,162.60. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Here’s a couple of interesting bullets points. It’s only been 16 games since his last suspension.
“This is Wilson’s fourth suspension in his last 105 games, an unprecedented frequency of suspensions in the history of the department of player safety,” the Department of Players Safety suspension video said.
Oct 03, 2018 Suspended 20 Games by the NHL
May 08, 2018 Missed 3 playoff games (suspended by nhl).
Oct 12, 2017 Missed 4 games (suspended by NHL).
Oct 03, 2017 Suspended by the NHL for 4 games.
Oct 03, 2017 Fined $97,560 by the NHL.
Sep 23, 2017 Suspended by the NHL for 2 preseason games.
Apr 29, 2016 Fined $2,403 by the NHL.
Mar 27, 2015 Fined $2,000 by the NHL.
Some will say that this suspension is excessive. The penalty doesn’t fit the crime. Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s this hit probably wouldn’t have garnered another look.
With this suspension, Wilson is approaching Raffi Torres and Matt Cooke status. The NHL is sending a message. Wilson will need to control his on-ice behavior or suffer the consequences. Thoughts?