Tom Wilson is Suspended Three Games for Hit on Zach Aston-Reese

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The NHL Department of Player Safety has reviewed Tom Wilson’s hit on Zach Aston-Reece from Tuesday night’s Game 3 and has determined that Wilson will be suspended for three games. 

Wilson’s hit on Aston-Reece came about midway into the second period in front of the Capitals bench as Wilson laid out a shoulder-to-shoulder contact hit. Aston-Reese left the game and Penguins coach Mike Sullivan revealed that he suffered a concussion and a broken jaw that will require surgery, likely ending his season.

As explained in the video issued by the Department of Player Safety, Wilson elevated up to make the head of Aston-Reese the main point of contact. It would’ve been a legal hit if Wilson stayed low and delivered the hit through Aston-Reece’s core.

Sullivan pleaded with the league to do something about it.

“It’s a high hit. What else can I say? It’s a high hit,” said Sullivan after the game on Tuesday night.

The reasoning as to why there was no whistle blown and no penalties being issued is explained in this statement from NHL on-site supervisor Paul Devorski:

Q: Why did on-ice officials meet for extended period of time after Tom Wilson’s hit on Zach Aston-Reese?

A: When we have a big hit like that, and there’s a lot of stuff going on on the ice our guys come together – because obviously both referees didn’t put their arm up so obviously they didn’t think there was a penalty. So now when they bring in the linesmen, who think it’s a major penalty, they’ll tell the referees. So they all get together and they said, ‘you know what, we’ve got a good, clean check here’

Both teams had optional practices on Wednesday morning. Wilson was among those Capitals players who did not participate.

“The situation last night I thought was body-on-body. Tom is a bigger player by I think probably about three or four inches and probably about 20 pounds. It was a collision and  big hit and to me it looked like body-on-body,” said Capitals coach Barry Trotz. “We’ve stopped it. We’ve looked at it, pictures all over the internet and to me he doesn’t leave his feet… I was surprised the player (Aston-Reese) has the injury that he does and I don’t know if they banged heads.”

“We lose a guy to a broken jaw that’s going to require surgery and a concussion because of another high hit to the head. At some point we would hope the league might do something,” said Sullivan.

“We all have our sides. I can’t be neutral and they can’t be neutral. That’s why we have a neutral party deciding,” Trotz added. “We have, like I said, very passionate fan bases on both sides and they’re gonna lobby for their side but that’s why we have a neutral party in the National Hockey League.”

The Capitals will now enter Game 4 on Thursday night without one of their key guys on the top line. It’s important they don’t let this decision by the league ruin their good play and mojo of late. The team must have a ‘next man up’ mentality. Whoever steps in Wilson’s place on the right wing will have big shoes to fill but it’ll be their time to shine.

By Michael Marzzacco

About Michael Marzzacco

Michael is an avid DC sports fan with a passion for writing. He has followed the Washington Capitals since the 2003-04 season, around the time his enthusiasm for DC teams really began. It was from the days when they had the worst record in the league to when they became the most exciting team in the area. His Dad took him to his first Caps game a couple of years later. One of his favorite memories was being in the stands during the 2015 Winter Classic where Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal with 12 seconds left. Michael graduated from Radford University in May 2016, earning a degree in journalism and focusing on sports journalism and broadcasting. His goal is to work in sports media in Washington, D.C.
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17 Responses to Tom Wilson is Suspended Three Games for Hit on Zach Aston-Reese

  1. Anonymous says:

    Bullshit NHL,bullshit!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Fire ’em Up!: If Game 3 is Any Indication, The Rest of This Series Is About To Get Flat Out Physical | NoVa Caps

  3. Three games is excessive in my opinion, but I still think we can take’em,,,
    Cliff

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous says:

    Who replaces him?

    Like

  5. Pingback: How the Capitals will Line Up for Game 4 and Who’s Taking Tom Wilson’s Spot on the Top Line | NoVa Caps

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like the Pittsburgh penguins are a bunch of school girls this is hockey come on man go caps

    Like

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