Twitter went into an uproar today after Washington Capitals’ Tom Wilson was ejected after another high hit to the head, this time to St. Louis Blues Oskar Sundqvist during the second period of their preseason game. The link to the video is here. Sundqvist had to be helped off the ice and has not returned.
It’s almost a guarantee that Wilson will be suspended to start the year once again, like he was last year. The Department of Player Safety announced that he has been offered an in-person hearing, allowing them to suspend him for more than five games if they so desire.
Wilson has been known for his hits, especially against the Blues in the preseason. He was suspended twice last preseason for hits against the Blues. He was suspended two preseason games for a late hit on Robert Thomas and then was suspended for four regular season games for boarding Samuel Blais in the final preseason game.
This could be the fourth suspension that Wilson has received in a year as he also received a third suspension during the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs last season when he hit Zach Aston-Reese, giving him a concussion and a broken jaw. Wilson has taken on a bigger role in the past year, moving up to the first line and then signing a six-year, $31MM contract in the offseason, but with so many repeat offenses, could end up with a significant suspension.
- The Carolina Hurricanes are concerned after goaltender Scott Darling had to leave their preseason game today with what they listed as a lower-body injury, according to NHL.com’s Michael Smith. “It’s a concern,” said head coach Rod Brind’Amour. “I’m not 100 percent sure what it is yet. He tweaked something in the lower body.” The team was counting on Darling to step up after a down season last year, his first as a full-time starter. The goaltender had been praised this offseason for an improved work-ethic, but now could miss some time early on in the season. The team may have to turn to Petr Mrazek to fill in for him.
- Newsday’s Andrew Gross reports that the New York Islanders will wait until the last possible second to make its final roster moves. He writes that general manager Lou Lamoriello is a big believer of using every minute it has available to it, so coach Barry Trotz won’t release his final roster until 48 hours before their first game, which will be on Tuesday. Trotz added that Lamoriello has been working the phones hard to try and add some available talent.
- The Philadelphia Flyers have confirmed they will be keeping forward Mikhail Vorobyev on their opening day roster, according to NHL.com’s Bill Meltzer. “He came in and made an impact, and that’s what you’re looking for with young players,” said general manager Ron Hextall. “He’s a real good two-way player. With many young players, you worry about the defensive side of the puck.” Vorobyev impressed Flyers’ brass after posting seven points in seven preseason games.