Gary Bettman Upholds Tom Wilson’s 20-Game Suspension

After a hearing that lasted seven hours last week involving NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Washington Capitals right winger Tom Wilson involving his appeal on his 20-game suspension to start the year, Bettman announced his decision on Thursday afternoon. There will be no reduction to his suspension. 

A release sent by the NHL Public Relations staff stated the following: 

Commissioner Gary Bettman today upheld the 20-game suspension that was assessed to Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson by the Department of Player Safety for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist during NHL Preseason Game No. 106 in Washington, D.C., on September 30.

Commissioner Bettman heard Wilson’s appeal of the original decision, assessed Oct. 3, at a hearing in New York on Oct. 18.

Wilson is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $1,260,162.60. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

The incident occurred at 5:18 of the second period. Wilson was assessed a match penalty for illegal check to the head.

The Commissioner’s complete ruling is attached.

The link is a 31-page report from the hearing.

So the Caps will have to adjust to life without Wilson a little longer. His suspension is expected to end on Nov. 21 as the Caps face-off against the Blackhawks. However, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post noted that an appeal to a neutral arbitrator could happen.

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