11:50am: That didn’t take long. Kevin Allen of USA Today reports that there will be no disciplinary hearing for Wilson for the hit on Marchessault.
11:28am: Game one of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals took place last night, and perhaps not surprisingly Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals was involved in another questionable incident. Wilson appeared to hit Vegas Golden Knights forward Jon Marchessault well after he had distributed the puck, resulting in a skirmish and calls for another suspension. Wilson has already been involved in several incidents in the playoffs, and was suspended for three games after hitting Zach Aston-Reese up high in the second round. According to Greg Wyshynski of ESPN, the league is still considering what to do about the latest Wilson hit. In a tweet, Wyshynski explains:
As of about 20 min ago, no official word on Tom Wilson from NHL Player Safety. One source told me they see the hit as slightly if not egregiously late, but that lack of head contact (it was shoulder to shoulder) is a big consideration. Personally, would be surprised if suspended.
In this case, there is also another player to consider in any disciplinary decisions. David Perron of the Golden Knights appeared to jump onto the ice after the hit was made, and collided with Alex Ovechkin immediately. Perron was the sixth player on the ice for Vegas, and immediately engaged with the opposing team. Leaving the bench is supposed to be a 10-game suspension, as we saw earlier this year with Luke Witkowski of the Detroit Red Wings. Whether the league will determine that Perron was leaving the bench as a response to the hit will likely decide whether or not he sees any further discipline.
For Wilson, it’s just another example of how he uses his physicality to rile up the opponents. Marchessault appeared to be okay after the hit, which did not connect with his head, but was forced off the ice and into the dressing room for a time. As one of the Golden Knights’ key forwards, missing any time would be a big blow to the team’s hopes for the rest of the series. So too would another Wilson suspension, as the physical power forward has found a home on the Capitals’ top line next to Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Wilson has 12 points in 17 playoff games so far, nearly matching his total (19) from the entire 2016-17 season.