Tom Wilson has been suspended two preseason games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for his big hit on St. Louis’ Robert Thomas on Friday night.
In handing out the punishment, the NHL noted the lateness of the hit—it occurred more than a full second after Thomas had lost control of the puck—and the predatory nature of Wilson tracking down the Blues’ rookie before delivering the blow in front of the visitors’ bench.
Wilson, a rugged 23-year-old winger who has a reputation for playing on the edge, has been on the NHL's radar for a while now. He’s been fined twice previously, but this marks the first time he’s been suspended.
Wilson must sit out Saturday’s exhibition game against the Hurricanes and Monday’s contest against the Devils. He’s eligible to return Friday at Carolina.
Earlier Saturday, Barry Trotz said he was “a little surprised” that the NHL had requested a hearing with Wilson, adding, “Whatever decision that they have we’ll deal with it. They do a good job.”
For Wilson, losing two preseason games amounts to a cheap lesson. But it also serves to underscore that he’s now squarely in the league’s crosshairs and will be considered a repeat offender should the Department of Player Safety examine a future play involving him.
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