In the least shocking news of the 2018-19 pre-season, Washington Captials forward Tom Wilson will be on the unfortunate side of a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
The illegal check in question was a blindside hit to Oskar Sundqvist of the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. Wilson approached this hit following his typical routine: start low, take the stick out of the way to make sure not to touch the puck, and explode up at the last second, all but guaranteeing head contact.
That formula got him suspended three times last season, including two times in the pre-season. He got two games for interference (ridiculously late hit), and just two games later got a four game suspension for boarding (high hit from behind). Oddly enough, both of those incidents also occurred against St. Louis. Maybe everyone defending this hit is right. Maybe the Blues players are just asking for it.
Then again, maybe not. Tom Wilson supposedly spent time this off season working with the Department of Player Safety to prevent these exact kind of hits from happening.
So what’ll it be, Department? If you don’t suspend heavily here, we’ll know you think you’re not doing a good enough job explaining the problem. If you do suspend heavily, we’ll know once and for all the problem is Wilson and players like him.