“This Guy Leaves Everything On the Ice Every Night, Leads By Example, And Protects His Own”: Reactions to Tom Wilson’s Contract Extension

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The Washington Capitals ensured fan favorite and former first-round pick Tom Wilson retires as in Red, White, and Blue on Friday, announcing that the club had signed the right wing to a seven-year contract extension.

The news, understandably, brought a quick reaction from across the Capitals hockey spectrum, including Wilson’s teammates, fans, and others around the hockey world.

Wilson took to social media to express his gratitude and heartfelt thanks to the Capitals and the city of Washington, D.C.:

Wilson’s longtime teammate and fellow right wing T.J. Oshie (also his sidekick in the duo’s famous pre-game shenanigans) took to his own Instagram account to welcome back his good friend, praising Wilson’s leadership, contributions, and General Manager Brian MacLellan, adding that he would have given No. 43 “$10 million.”.

Tom’s wife Taylor and TJ’s wife Lauren also posted their congratulations; Taylor commented, “Proud of you and SO happy to be staying in DC!”, while Lauren tagged both Tom and Taylor, saying “So happy for you guys! No one more deserving!”.

MacLellan released the following statement upon the announcement of Wilson’s contract:

“Tom possesses all the intangibles needed to win in this League and we are extremely pleased to sign him to a long-term contract, giving him the opportunity to finish his career in a Capitals’ uniform. Throughout his career, Tom has improved every facet of his game through his drive and competitiveness. We feel his work ethic and leadership qualities will be a tremendous asset to our organization for years to come.”

The Capitals’ fan base was understandably ecstatic about the news from what has, outside of the hiring of a new coaching staff and a few free agent signings, been a quiet summer ahead of the training camp next month.

Wilson’s signing continues the Capitals’ commitment to their longtime core but inks an integral part of the locker room and on-ice morale for the foreseeable future. While Alex Ovechkin has three years remaining on his own, long-term contract signed in 2021, there is a good chance that, when The Great Eight hangs up his yellow-laced skates, Wilson may be the player to next don the captain’s “C” on the upper-right of his jersey.

Drafted by the Caps with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Wilson has evolved to become arguably, the team’s best all-around player, a far cry from his early playing days on the fourth-line in an enforcer-like role that has earned him the easy choice for “villain” among other NHL clubs and fanbases. Three times a 20-goal scorer, at just 29-years old, Wilson already ranks 16th in Games Played (tied with teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov) with 680, 24th in Goals (with a likely rise several spots this season) with 138, third in Penalty Minutes with 1,299, and second in Hits with 2,039.

Wilson’s off-ice contributions to the DMV have also cemented him in the hearts of Caps faithful, with his Forty Three’s Friends charitable organization donating tickets to local Make-A-Wish children and visits with the families following the games.

Tom Wilson Named Capitals Nominee for NHL’s King Clancy Memorial Trophy

Tom Wilson’s value is undoubtedly well-known to the Capitals, their fans, and his teammates. Although the rest of the league has had something or another to say about No. 43’s style of play, there is no dispute that, given the chance, every single general manager in the NHL would do anything to have a player of his skillset on their roster. Thankfully for the Capitals, there is only one original and he will be taking the ice in their sweater going forward.
By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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4 Responses to “This Guy Leaves Everything On the Ice Every Night, Leads By Example, And Protects His Own”: Reactions to Tom Wilson’s Contract Extension

  1. novafyre says:

    Caps fans are over the moon with Tom’s new contract. Other analysts are more cautious. They all agree that Tom made out like a bandit — great deal for him, he gets an A+. But the grade they give to the Caps is lower. They all focus on the length.

    Tom, like Osh, plays hard. Very hard. Will injuries diminish his contributions? All players (even Jagr) do wear out as they age. Caps have been blessed with a very durable Ovi. Will Tom be as durable as this contract winds down? Or will he look more like Backy? An added concern for some is the league’s target on his back. As he gets older and slower, will be take more chances to keep up and thereby get more penalties and suspensions? Or more injuries? A Tom in the sin bin or, worse, press box, does the Caps no good.

    I wanted Tom back. I was hoping for a 4 year extension, maybe 5. But I too question the length of this one.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good contract and time will tell on length. Have to go the extra mile to keep players like this

  3. Prevent Defense says:

    An old Chief Petty Officer of mine remarked about negativity in our maritime profession: “If I stood out on the Quarterdeck and started handing out Fifty Dollar Bills, fifteen people would complain about it, and the XO would throw me in the Brig.”

    Going back to the 1975 Caps’ season, Tom Wilson is as deserving of his contract as anyone who has ever played for the franchise and pulled on that Red Sweater. Yet the internet is simply buzzing with critics about Wilson’s contract. Will he get injured? Will he decline? Will he $ukk? Too much term! Too much money! Jeez. It’s just modern America. As the Chief lamented, No good deed goes unpunished

  4. dwgie26 says:

    As a Caps fan, it is easy to be scared by contracts not aging well. Obviously mainly due to Oshie and Backstrom. OV still earning his. Not as concerned about JC74 given we have now seen how much positive impact he has (or we lose when he is out). I think Tom will be fine too. But damn we need to get some youngins going and free up space for some impact players after this year.

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