Tom Wilson receives controversial 7-game suspension for hit on Brandon Carlo
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Tom Wilson has received a lengthy suspension from the NHL. This time, there are a lot of people defending the Washington Capitals forward.
Wilson was suspended seven games, the league announced on Saturday night. The suspension stemmed from a hit Wilson delivered on Friday night against Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo. The player safety committee viewed the hit as a boarding violation.
The NHL’s Player Safety Decisions department said in a video announcing the suspension that Wilson “drove [Carlo] violently into the glass and caused an injury.”
The suspension was announced after Wilson had a hearing with the Player Safety department earlier in the evening.
Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said on Saturday that he did not believe the hit merited a suspension.
“I mean, to me, it was a hockey hit. If this is a suspendable play then all hitting really is going to probably have to be removed because he didn’t take any strides, he didn’t target the head, a player was up against the boards, he was upright and Tom hit him hard,” Laviolette said.
The NHL acknowledged in their video that the Caps’ argument has merit.
“While there are aspects of this hit that may skirt the line between suspendable and not suspendable, it is the totality of the circumstances that cause this play to merit supplemental discipline,” the league said.
TSN’s Frank Seravalli pointed out a concerning aspect of the punishment.
Going to be fascinating @NHLPlayerSafety process w Tom Wilson. This is not a hearing for Rule 48 (illegal check to head) because it does not meet the criteria.
Precedent is being broken. Wilson could become 1st in NHL history suspended for boarding on hit that wasn't from behind
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 6, 2021
This is Wilson’s fifth career suspension from the NHL.