This won’t surprise you, but human trash receptacle Tom Wilson delivered a dangerous blindside hit to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist during a preseason game on Sunday afternoon.
Tom Wilson's hit on Oskar Sundqvist. Wilson received a match penalty. pic.twitter.com/gseYif7Fz4— Ian Oland (@ianoland) September 30, 2018
As a result, the Capitals forward was ejected from the game for “checking to the head” and will face and in-person hearing with the Department of Player safety for his actions.
An in-person hearing means Wilson can be suspended for six or more games, and given his history, that will likely be the case. This would be Wilson’s fourth suspension in the last year, his last coming in **checks notes** May when he was suspended three playoff games for an illegal hit to the head of Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese.
Wilson has played 12 playoff games and three pre-season games since he was last suspended.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 1, 2018
Less than 24 hours after Wilson’s latest incident, the Penguins convened for practice and spoke to reporters following their workout. Captain Sidney Crosby, who is no stranger to blindside head shots from the Capitals himself, was asked by several members of the media for his thoughts on the hit and how the NHL should handle a repeat offender like Wilson, who does not seem to be learning his lesson.
“I don’t know how many opportunities you need. Obviously the point hasn’t been made yet,” said Crosby during his interview scrum. “He’s a good player...There’s really no reason to continue to hit like that.” You can see the full clip of Crosby’s comments below.
Sidney Crosby on Tom Wilson's hit and suspension: “We talk about this a lot with him. He still chooses to make those hits. I’m sure the league is well-aware of that.” pic.twitter.com/z4cSl5xc9S— Andrew Rush (@andrewrush) October 1, 2018
Crosby did state at the very beginning of his interview that he believes head hits are down across the league and suspensions are working to send a message, but Wilson seems to be an exception.
“I think guys are aware now, I don’t think there are as many as there used to be,” stated Crosby. “I think guys are aware of what’s legal and what’s not.”
To be clear, Crosby does think head hits are down. “This is a unique situation, where you have someone who continues to do it. I’m just pointing out the obvious here.”— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) October 1, 2018
Crosby wasn’t the only Penguins player to be asked his thoughts on the hit, teammate and past Wilson victim Zach-Aston Reese also spoke to the media following practice.
Aston-Reese gave a little more diplomatic response than his captain, calling the situation “unfortunate” and pointing out this is something the league is make an attempt to prevent. He also stated that seeing hits like this “hit home a little bit just because I’ve gone through it” but acknowledged many others across the league have had the same experience.
The Penguins and Capitals will renew their rivalry on Thursday night in Pittsburgh. While the Pens should be a full strength for the season opener, the Capitals will likely be without Tom Wilson who will have to watch from home because of his crippling inability to play within the rules of the game.