Caps F Tom Wilson suspended 6 games for high-sticking

League: NHL

Posted on: 22 Mar, 2024 at 11:44 PM

Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson was suspended for the sixth time in his career Friday, this time a six-game ban for a high-sticking incident earlier this week against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Wilson received a double minor for high sticking Toronto's Noah Gregor in the face at 12:15 of the third period.

"Wilson draws his stick back and then swings it forward in an extremely reckless fashion, making direct and forceful contact with Gregor's face," NHL Player Safety said in its ruling.

Wilson's last suspension came in 2021, when he was hit with a seven-game ban for boarding Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo.

Wilson's longest suspension came in the 2018-19 preseason, when he delivered an illegal hit to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist and was suspended for 20 games. Wilson appealed that suspension and the arbitrator reduced it to 14 games.

"Wilson's actions on this play are fully under his own control, irresponsible and not related to any sort of legitimate hockey action," NHL Player Safety said of Wednesday's incident.

"He is accountable for the dangerous result of the play which is a direct and forceful blow to an opponent's head by a player with a substantial track record of supplemental discipline."

Per The Athletic, Wilson's suspensions and his three fines have cost him more than $1.4 million.

Wilson's absence comes at an inopportune time for the Capitals, who are vying for an Eastern Conference wild-card spot. The rugged forward has 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) in 66 games for Washington, which entered Friday three points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the final wild-card spot.

If Wilson doesn't appeal his latest suspension, he would be eligible to return to the lineup April 4 against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

--Field Level Media