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NHL Gives Tom Wilson Lengthy Suspension for ‘Irresponsible’ High Stick



Pittsburgh Penguins, Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals suspended

The NHL put Washington Capitals bad boy Tom Wilson in timeout for a couple of weeks. Friday afternoon, the NHL suspended Wilson for six games for his flagrant high-sticking penalty on Toronto Maple Leafs’ Noah Gregor Wednesday night.

Officials assessed Wilson only a four-minute high-sticking penalty in the Capitals’ 7-3 loss to Toronto at the Capital One Center.

“As Wilson and Gregor separate after the hit, Wilson draws his stick back and swings it forward in an extremely reckless fashion, making direct and forceful contact with Gregor’s face,” the NHL Department of Player Safety video explained. “This is high sticking. It is important to note Wilson is solely in control of his actions throughout the play. While we acknowledge Wilson’s assertion that he did not mean to strike Gregor in the face, the fact remains that Wilson’s stick is drawn back behind him then swung forcefully and recklessly into his opponent.

“Wilson’s actions are fully under his control, irresponsible, and not related to any hockey action. He is fully accountable for the results of the play, which is a direct blow to an opponent’s head by a player with a substantial record of supplemental discipline.”

This is Wilson’s sixth suspension of his career and first since he was given a seven-game suspension for a dirty hit on St. Louis Blues defenseman Brandon Carlo on March 5, 2021.

Wilson has also been suspended twice for actions involving the Pittsburgh Penguins, including an illegal hit that broke Zach Aston-Reese’s jaw during a 2018 Round Two playoff game.

The Capitals are currently three points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild-card position and have two games in hand. Wilson is suspended without pay, costing him $161,458.32. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.