Caps' Tom Wilson suspended 20 games by NHL

Ben Krimmel
October 03, 2018 - 4:26 pm

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson was suspended 20 games by the NHL's Department of Player Safety Tuesday for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in the Caps' preseason finale

In a video explaining the suspension, the Department of Player Safety said Wilson delivered a "high forceful hit" that made "Sundqvist's head the main point of contact, on a hit when such head contact was avoidable, and causes an injury." Sundqvist sustained a concussion and a shoulder injury on the play.

"Rather than hit through Sundqvist's core and deliver a legal, full-body check, Wilson takes a poor angle of approach that picks Sundqvist's head and makes it the main point of contact," the video said. "This hit is entirely in Wilson's control." 

The length of the suspension was due to Wilson's repeat offender status

"Including preseason and postseason games played, this is Wilson's fourth suspension in his last 105 games, an unprecedented frequency of suspensions in the history of the Department of Player Safety," per league.

Citing the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHLPA and the NHL, "Players who repeatedly violate league playing rules will be more severely punished for each new violation."

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