Bruins

NHL suspends Tom Wilson seven games for hit on Bruins d-man Brandon Carlo

Bruins

The NHL's Department of Player Safety has made its decision.

Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has been suspended for seven games as a result of his dangerous hit on Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo from Friday night's game at TD Garden.

The league announced its decision late Saturday night. Wilson's virtual in-person hearing took place earlier in the evening.

Wilson hit Carlo up high while the 24-year-old defenseman was in a vulnerable position. Carlo left the game and didn't return. He was taken to a local hospital and was released Saturday morning. His status for Sunday's game against the New Jersey Devils and beyond is uncertain right now. 

Wilson is no stranger to discipline from the league's Department of Player Safety. This is the fifth suspension of his career. It's his first ban since the 2018-19 preseason when he was suspended 20 games (reduced to 14 after an appeal) for hitting St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in the head.

The Bruins were angry over the hit. B's forward Brad Marchand described it as "bulls--t" during an intermission interview with NESN, and following the game head coach Bruce Cassidy called it a "predatory hit from a player who's done that before."

Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said after the game that Wilson's check was "just a hit." He doubled down Saturday afternoon.

 

“I guess we’re still hopeful (Wilson will play Sunday),” Laviolette told reporters. “I mean, to me, it was a hockey hit. If this is a suspendable play then all hitting really is going to probably have to be removed because he didn’t take any strides, he didn’t target the head, a player was up against the boards, he was upright and Tom hit him hard.

"I hope the player’s OK, but, for me, the call I think was correct on the ice last night. This hit happens so many times through the course of the game where somebody hits somebody against the boards and so I think we’re still hopeful that Tom will be available to us."

The Bruins and Capitals will play four more times during the regular season. The next two matchups -- April 8 and 11 -- will be in Washington.

UPDATE (March 7, 6:30 p.m. ET): Wilson won't appeal his suspension, per The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun.