Are The NHL Referees Targeting Tom Wilson?


editorialA few weeks ago, there were reports that NHL Player Safety was talking to repeat offenders after a number of players were injured by hits to the head. At the end of that report was:

“… Player Safety has also been receiving complaints from teams about Washington forward Tom Wilson”.

Since then, the 21-year old has said he believes the league is targeting him and there have been numerous times in games where a penalty called against Wilson was unnecessary.

Today’s game against the Winnipeg Jets was the most-recent, and arguably the most-ridiculous. The NHL has a “third-man rule”, which states a player is the “third-man in” if he enters a fight that is already in progress. While Wilson was involved in a fight with a Jets’ player, defenseman Mark Stuart entered the fray, yet did not receive a penalty. Wilson, on the other hand, was called for roughing and there was no way that the officials missed Stuart: all the officials were very close in proximity  to the scrum.

This negligence is something that has riled Caps faithful, and rightfully so: in his career, Wilson has NEVER been suspended or even fined for his hits. While some of his hits (including his 2013 hit on Philadelphia’s Brayden Schenn, and last year’s hit on New York Islanders’ defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky), have looked malicious, they were, in all fairness, clean. He’s never hit anyone in the head and has only 41 penalty minutes this season.

Wilson is in no way a dirty player and the NHL must see that there are dirtier players to worry about than Washington’s No. 43.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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