2:44 PM: Wilson has been suspended for two preseason games, the Department of Player Safety announced.
11:17 AM: To the surprise of many, including head coach Barry Trotz, Washington Capital’s grinder Tom Wilson will have a hearing regarding an interference call in last night’s preseason game against the St. Louis Blues. In a quick turnaround, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced their appointment with Wilson this morning for a hearing later today. It is a fast response, with the potential to be forceful as well, when it comes to Wilson, who is starting to get a reputation as one of the league’s biggest thugs.
The hit in question, as you can see, was a hard check on St. Louis 2017 first-round pick Robert Thomas. Thomas was chasing the puck, which drew the interference call, when Wilson swung in an hit him with a shoulder to the upper body. Wilson leaves his feet to make contact, which Player Safety will surely call attention to. Thomas was not injured on the play and Wilson quickly fought Dmitrij Jaskin and then served his penalty and with the pace of the game, no one gave much of a second thought to the ordeal. The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan even reports that Trotz had planned to use Wilson in tonight’s game. However, the league, and new Head of Player Safety and former enforcer himself George Parros, would like to take a closer look at Wilson’s most recent incident.
Amazingly, if Wilson is suspended for the hit, it will be the first suspension of his NHL career. Wilson has had his fair share of hearing, two ending in substantial fines, but has never missed any time. However, the timing of this hearing could mean that his lucky streak is about to end. With the main focus of the NHL this season clearly being a desire to clean up play and reduce injuries, a statement suspension for a guy too often on the wrong side of dirty plays would seem to fit the narrative.