Reactions to Tom Wilson's 20-game suspension
Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson was suspended 20 games by the NHL on Wednesday in response to a blindside hit to the head of St. Louis Blues center and former Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Oskar Sundqvist during Sunday night's preseason game.
The Caps' right winger has a recent history that was bound to open him for a potentially harsh suspension , according to NBC Sports writer Adam Gretz.
Gretz says the NHL is harsher on repeat offenders.
Tom Wilson didn't get suspended 20 games because of this particular hit. He got suspended 20 games because he keeps doing things to get himself suspended and hasn't yet received the message. If he doesn't now, he never will. https://t.co/yVCduB1tgg | @NHLonNBCSports— Adam Gretz (@AGretz) October 3, 2018
Who can forget about that jaw-jacking cheap shot on Zach Aston-Reese during last year's playoffs?
20 games for Tom Wilson. FIIIIIIINNAALLLLLLLLYYYYY.... The Department of Player Safety.... has gotten. one. right. pic.twitter.com/gbNSKl4lMY— Chris Mack (@THEChrisMack) October 3, 2018
Wilson, who is serving his fourth suspension in 13 months, also will forfeit $1.26 million.
Tom Wilson just paid 1.2m dollars to hit a 4th liner from the other conference in a preseason game.— Zach (@zacharry0) October 3, 2018
The fine, in essence, is more than his salary this year.
Tom Wilson's suspension will cost him $1,260,162.60, and his salary this season is only $1,100,000. So he's going to play the season without getting a single paycheque this year. True he got a 5 million dollar signing bonus on July 1st, but nothing moving forward. #nhl #caps #tsn— Gino Reda (@GinoRedaTSN) October 3, 2018
This tweet is also telling:
Tom Wilson career goals scored: 35Tom Wilson games suspended: 29— Christian Pagnani (@chrispagnani) October 3, 2018
Sounds like Tom Wilson is the Vontaze Burfict of the NHL.— Blitzburgh (@Steel_Curtain4) October 4, 2018
There are some hockey fans who think the penalty was too harsh.
If you think Tom Wilson deserved a 20 game suspension, you undoubtedly support the NFL's transition to flag football.— El Capitano (@OhhhMistaW) October 4, 2018
I guess until someone dies Tom Wilson can do whatever he wants, and its soo funny how caps fans dont think he is dirty. DC finally has a relevant team for once and the people there act like they were the 72 Dolphins. Wilson takes that hit on Kuzy i bet you would get pissed #truth— Saint Patrick (@Pat5Slabe) October 4, 2018
Tom Wilson picked up a 20 game suspension for that hit on Sundqvist! I mean he absolutely mangled the kid but that's just cause Wilson is a truck— Lucas Chiarot (@LChiarot12) October 4, 2018
Tom Wilson did not leave his feet. He didn't throw an elbow to the head. He crushed a guy skating in the middle of the ice with his head down, with the bulk of the contact to the shoulder. I was ready for 6 games. Maybe 8. But 20? Unbelievable.— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) October 3, 2018
To add more insult to injury, if that's even possible (yes it's possible because it's Tom Wilson), the suspension was handed down moments before the banner raising in Washington to commemorate the Stanley Cup Final champs from last season.
Damn. Tom Wilson couldn't see the banner ceremony just like his victims couldn't see his hits coming— Dad Chad (@madchad412) October 4, 2018
And of course, the Internet wins against Tom Wilson.
Hopefully the NHL won. If the hefty fine/suspension combo doesn't urge Wilson to change his ways, it seems that nothing will.
Thing is, hockey fans don't mind him playing hard and making (legal) hits, injury involved or not, they just don't want to see their team's players get hurt as the result of a cheap shot.
Samson X Horne is a Tribune-Review staff writer.