It’s almost like de ja vu. Last year when the Washington Capitals ended their preseason against the St. Louis Blues, Tom Wilson laid out a controversial hit that had him suspended for four games. One year later? Same deal but only a harsher punishment since he’s a repeat offender. After Wilson and general manger Brian MacLellan flew up to New York this morning for a hearing, the NHL Department of Player Safety has decided to suspend Wilson 20 games to begin the season.
Washington’s Tom Wilson suspended twenty games for an Illegal Check to the Head on St. Louis’ Oskar Sundqvist. https://t.co/ojQ4yN6oFN
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) October 3, 2018
Here is a look at the play from Sunday afternoon.
— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) September 30, 2018
Wilson laid out Blues center Oskar Sundqvist. The team remained in D.C. on Monday and Tuesday to practice at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. You could see Sundqvist’s face during a team lunch.
Carl Gunnarsson (left) and Oskar Sundqvist having lunch Monday w/members of the Naval Academy's 18th Company. pic.twitter.com/g7lasYlxBF
— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) October 1, 2018
Sundqvist suffered a concussion and shoulder injury and has been placed on injured reserve. The Blues open their season tomorrow against the Winnipeg Jets in St. Louis.
Brett Connolly will be taking over Wilson’s spot on the top line to the right of Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin.
Capitals lines and D this morning (vs. Boston tonight):
Extras: Megna, Jaskin.
Wilson is in NY for hearing.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) October 3, 2018
While it is a shame that Wilson won’t be playing in Opening Night or the first 20, we saw what turned out last year when Wilson began the season suspended. The Caps won the first two games of the regular season. In the playoffs, Wilson was suspended for three games in the second round after Wilson laid out a hit on Zach Aston-Reese of the Penguins in Game 3. While the Caps did drop Game 4, they rallied to win Games 5 and 6.
Wilson will be projected to return to the lineup on November 21 against the Blackhawks.