Capitals ahead Tom Wilson has lengthy been a infamous NHL delinquent and Undesirable No. 1 for the league’s Division of Participant Security by way of his polarizing profession. His controversial enjoying fashion is efficient at flustering opponents and angering their fan bases, however generally it goes too far, leading to damage.
He had gone virtually 2 1/2 years with out formal punishment from the league regardless of persevering with to play with reckless abandon, as a result of the NHL’s ambiguous guidelines relating to upper-body contact make these forms of performs troublesome to prosecute. He lastly acquired justice with a seven-game suspension — which is able to price him $311,781.61 — for boarding the Bruins’ Brandon Carlo in a March 5 sport.
As of March 6, no participant within the NHL has been penalized extra since Wilson entered the league in 2013. Of his 333 penalties (regular-season solely) throughout that span, greater than 20 % have been majors (72). They add as much as 1,052 minutes, together with 16 misconducts and two match penalties. Solely three different gamers (Antoine Roussel, Cody McLeod and Evander Kane) have greater than 700 penalty minutes. Once more, these figures do not even embrace his postseason misbehavior.
Wilson has now been suspended 5 occasions and fined twice by the league.
No matter one’s opinion about Wilson’s play, one factor cannot be debated: He has repeatedly positioned himself in conditions worthy of scrutiny. Here is a normal timeline recapping every of these cases.
This text was initially printed in 2018. Tom Gatto contributed to this report.
Wilson “crossed the road” once more throughout a Might 3 sport towards the Rangers, a minimum of within the view of New York coach David Quinn and captain Mika Zibanejad.
Wilson incited a brawl within the second interval when he punched Rangers ahead Pavel Buchnevich behind the pinnacle throughout a netside scrum whereas Buchnevich was in a defenseless place. Moments later, whereas officers labored to separate gamers from each groups, Wilson tore off the helmet of star Artemi Panarin and twice slammed him to the ice, injuring Panarin within the course of.
Wilson was penalized 4 minutes for roughing and a 10-minute sport misconduct. Panarin served a two-minute minor for roughing and did not return to the sport resulting from damage.
The NHL’s Division of Participant Security issued Wilson a $5,000 high-quality “for roughing” Buchnevich. It didn’t point out the incident with Panarin and declined to suspend Wilson, as soon as once more drawing the ire of his critics.
Washington’s Tom Wilson has been fined $5,000, the utmost allowable below the CBA, for Roughing NY Rangers’ Pavel Buchnevich.
— NHL Participant Security (@NHLPlayerSafety) May 4, 2021
“All of us noticed it. There are strains that may’t be crossed on this sport. There’s simply zero respect for the sport typically,” Quinn stated after the sport. “You bought one of many star gamers on this league now that would have gotten critically, critically harm in that incident. You all noticed what occurred, and it occurs time and time once more with him. Completely pointless.”
Wilson went such a very long time between sanctions not as a result of he had cleaned up his act, however as a result of he hadn’t accomplished sufficient to get the NHL to concentrate. Then got here his excessive hit on Carlo.
Carlo’s head struck the tip boards glass after Wilson led a verify together with his shoulder. Carlo needed to depart the sport and was later taken to a Boston hospital. No penalty was referred to as, which angered Boston’s bench even more.
The NHL introduced a listening to with Wilson the subsequent day. The league then handed down the seven-game ban.
“Whereas there are elements of this hit that will skirt the road between suspendable and never suspendable, it’s the totality of the cirucmstances that brought about this play to advantage supplemental self-discipline,” the Division of Participant security stated. “What separates this hit from others is the direct and vital contact to a defenseless participant’s face and head, inflicting a violent impression with the glass. It is a participant with a considerable disciplinary document profiting from an opponent who’s in a defenseless place and doing so with vital power.”
Regardless of good-faith discussions within the offseason about making an attempt to tweak a safer enjoying fashion, Wilson began the 2018-19 season within the place he is been continuously the previous few years: In sizzling water with the DPoS. Within the Capitals’ last preseason sport, Wilson blindsided Blues ahead Oskar Sundqvist with a excessive hit. Wilson was given a match penalty, and Sundqvist suffered a concussion and shoulder damage.
Because the hockey world referred to as on the NHL to ship a powerful message as soon as and for all, the league levied its harshest penalty but towards Wilson, suspending him for the primary 20 video games to start the common season. The DPoS cited his standing as a repeat offender and an “unprecedented frequency of suspensions” to justify the longest suspension within the NHL since 2015. Wilson forfeited $1,260,162.60 in wage.
Wilson drew scrutiny on 4 (!) separate events through the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup run. The primary was throughout Sport 1 of the first-round collection towards the Blue Jackets when he was penalized for charging Alexander Wennberg. The Division of Participant Security took a glance however in the end dominated towards supplementary self-discipline as a result of the replay angles “couldn’t decide whether or not or not Wennberg’s head was the primary level of contact.” Wilson did not obtain a listening to.
Then, Wilson knocked Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin from Sport 2. Dumoulin had been skating in entrance of Wilson, pulling up on the final second to keep away from successful from an incoming Alex Ovechkin. Wilson adopted by way of on his verify, hitting Dumoulin within the head, however he wasn’t penalized. Wilson defined the hit as being the results of Dumoulin’s last-second maneuver. He once more averted a listening to with the DoPS.
Probably the most egregious — and the one which lastly landed Wilson a three-game suspension — occurred throughout Sport 3, when successful to the pinnacle of the Penguins’ Zach Aston-Reese, which broke the rookie’s jaw and brought about a concussion.
Wilson argued the purpose of contact was Aston-Reese’s shoulder, and relying on the angle of the replay, it might be inconclusive as as to whether it constituted an unlawful verify to the pinnacle under current rules.
Wilson once more stirred up suspension chatter through the Stanley Cup Ultimate’s Sport 1, barreling into the blind aspect of Jonathan Marchessault. The Golden Knights’ playoff scoring chief, nicely behind the play, had launched the puck with loads of advance discover for Wilson to ease up. The NHL in the end spared Wilson once more.
Wilson was suspended twice earlier than the 2017-18 season started. He sat out two exhibitions — the NHL equal of a slap on the wrist — for a Sept. 22 hit on the Blues’ Robert Thomas.
Eight days later, Wilson acquired the harshest penalty of his profession to this point after boarding Sam Blais in one other exhibition towards the Blues, leading to a serious penalty and a sport misconduct. The DoPS got here down laborious on Wilson, suspending him for the primary 4 video games of the common season — the one significant suspension Wilson has served till now. He forfeited $97,560.96 in sport wage.
December 2016: John Moore
Devils defenseman John Moore needed to be stretchered off the ice after Wilson hit him from behind, driving Moore into the boards face first. Wilson wasn’t penalized. Moore was recognized with a concussion and missed 17 video games. The DoPS didn’t prepare a listening to.
April 2016: Conor Sheary
Wilson was spared a suspension however was fined $2,900 (the utmost allowable below the NHL’s collective bargaining settlement) for a knee-on-knee collision with Penguins ahead Conor Sheary throughout Sport 1 of their second-round collection in 2016. Whereas skating to the bench, Wilson intentionally went out of his method to make contact with Sheary, who was in ache however remained within the sport. Wilson wasn’t penalized.
April 2016: Nikita Zadorov
Wilson’s April 1 hit on Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov cut up the clean-vs.-dirty dialogue down the center. As Zadorov traced behind the web, Wilson got here barreling down the opposite aspect of the ice and lit up his unsuspecting goal. Zadorov suffered a concussion however performed in every of Colorado’s remaining 4 video games. Wilson, who wasn’t penalized through the sport, did not obtain a suspension.
December 2015: Brian Campbell
Wilson was ejected within the third interval of a Dec. 10 sport towards the Panthers for boarding defenseman Brian Campbell. That stood as his solely penalty because the DoPS decided the hit wasn’t suspension-worthy. Campbell did not miss a sport.
December 2015: Curtis Lazar
Wilson acquired a match penalty for successful to the pinnacle of Senators ahead Curtis Lazar, however the penalty was later rescinded by the NHL earlier than Wilson served the necessary one-game suspension. The Capitals had argued the contact to the pinnacle was unintentional, as a substitute attributable to an preliminary verify to the hip. The league by no means publicly defined its choice and the match penalty was scrubbed from Wilson’s document.
April 2015: Lubomir Visnovsky
Wilson acquired a charging minor for leveling Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky in Sport 4 of the Capitals’ first-round playoff collection in 2015, a play that injured Visnovsky, a serial concussion sufferer, and saved him out the remaining three video games of the collection. Wilson wasn’t disciplined additional.
December 2013: Brayden Schenn
Wilson’s first run-in with the NHL’s disciplinarians involved a Dec. 17 hit of the Flyers’ Brayden Schenn, when Wilson charged in from the blue line and leveled Schenn into the tip boards. Wilson was ejected, and the play drew a telephone listening to with the DoPS. The league in the end determined towards a suspension and as a substitute launched a long-winded video explaining its choice to spare Wilson.
This text has been up to date from its unique publication to replicate Wilson’s full disciplinary info.