The dawn of the NHL regular season is still days away, but we’ve already been blessed with our first Tom Wilson sighting of the 2018-19 campaign.
And boy was it an ugly sight to behold.
Tom Wilson's hit on Oskar Sundqvist. Wilson received a match penalty. pic.twitter.com/gseYif7Fz4
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) September 30, 2018
After Oskar Sundqvist crossed the Capitals blue line and cut towards the middle of the ice during a preseason game between Washington and St. Louis on Sunday, Wilson took a couple heavy strides and absolutely bricked the Blues forward with a brutal open-ice, blindside hit. Wilson was given a match penalty and ejected from the game, while Sundqvist had to be helped off the ice after staying down for several minutes.
The principle point of contact did appear to be the head, which would, in most circumstances, warrant some type of multiple-game suspension. Wilson, however has escaped punishment time and time again for some of his borderline hits, and the NHL has proven as recently as last week’s Max Domi-Aaron Ekblad incident that it is either incapable of or unwilling to dole out sufficient punishments for preseason attacks like these.
However, the league said Sunday night that it’s reviewing the incident and has reached out to Wilson to offer an in-person hearing with the Department of Player Safety, meaning a suspension of more than five games is a possibility, but not necessarily imminent.
The Capitals kick off their regular season Wednesday at home against the Bruins with a Stanley Cup banner-raising ceremony — one which likely won’t include Wilson, who was an integral part of the team’s championship run last spring.
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