The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced on Saturday evening that Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has been suspended for seven games for boarding defenseman Brandon Carlo in the team’s 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Friday. Wilson will be eligible to return on Saturday, March 20 against the New York Rangers.
While Carlo was battling for the puck with Capitals forward Jakub Vrana, Wilson delivered a high hit on him. He was not assessed a penalty on the play.
Before this suspension, Wilson was suspended four times previously but not since October 3, 2018. His previous suspension was 20 games long. Wilson was offered an in-person hearing, which usually hints that a suspension of at least five games, before his last suspension.
Wilson has the right to appeal within 48 hours to the commissioner. Also for any suspension of six games or more, a player has right to appeal to an independent arbitrator (after appeal to commissioner).
An independent arbitrator reduced Wilson’s 20-game suspension for an illegal check to the head on Oskar Sundqvist in 2018 preseason to 14 games. Wilson had already served 16 games by time of ruling, so he was reimbursed pay for two games.
Under the CBA, and based on his average annual salary, Wilson will forfeit $311,781.61. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
The 26-year-old had the option to waive it.
Carlo was taken to a local hospital in an ambulance after the hit on Friday. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy called the hit “predatory,” “completely unnecessary,” and “predatory.” Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said after the game that he did not get any notice about a possible hearing for Wilson. Bruins forward Brad Marchand said during an intermission interview that the hit was a “bulls*** cheap shot.”
Wilson, who is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension was 29 months ago, has recorded seven goals, 17 points, and a +1 rating in 21 games this season.
The Capitals will visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington).
By Harrison Brown