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Capitals Tom Wilson Ejected for Blindside Hit; Suspension Possible

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Tom Wilson: Photo by Michael Miller. @PensRYourDaddy

Here we go again. Friday night, Washington Capitals forward and resident NHL goon Tom Wilson received a match penalty for an egregiously late and blindside hit on New Jersey Devils forward Brett Seney, late in the second period.

After Seney cycled the puck low he drifted back toward the slot. Wilson continued his straight line path through Seney and made flush contact with Seney’s shoulder and head area, from behind. Seney did not see the hit coming and did not brace for the hit.

The NHL automatically reviews match penalties.

UPDATE: 11 a.m.: The NHL announced Wilson would not be suspended for the hit.

Before the season began, Wilson was suspected by the NHL Department of Player Safety for 20 games after a vicious head-shot to St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist, in a preseason game. An independent arbitrator later reduced the suspension to 14 games after ruling the DoPS’ multiplier for previous suspensions was excessive. The NHL used a 3x multiplier. The arbitrator reduced the multiplier to 2x.

Wilson, 24, missed the Capitals first 16 games and was given remuneration for the two-game difference.

If the league determines a suspension is merited, it could reapply the 3x multiplier and 14 games would become a 42 game suspension.

This season, Wilson has been a force for the Capitals. In nine games played, including a goal Friday night, Wilson has 13 points (7g, 6a).

Wilson has been suspended four times in the past 14 months, which was a 105 game span. Friday could mark the beginning of his fifth suspension in 114 games. When the NHL suspended him in October, the league called the frequency “unprecedented.”

Wilson was also suspended twice last preseason for malicious hits on St. Louis Blues forwards. The hits occurred in different games. He was suspended for two preseason games for a boarding coal on Robert Thomas. Eight days later, he was suspended for four regular-season games after a head hit ton St. Louis prospect Sam Blais.

HIs contact Friday night was clearly within his control and high, though it’s debatable if the head was the primary point of contact.

 

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