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Capitals’ Wilson set to appeal 20-game ban, again

2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Two

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 30: Tom Wilson #43 of the Washington Capitals reacts against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Two of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on May 30, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has adopted this mantra and will now plead his case to an independent arbitrator.

After NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld Wilson’s 20-game suspension on Thursday, the latter is expected to “appeal the appeal,” according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.

Wilson was handed the 20-game ban after an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist during the preseason. The hit was one thing, but the lengthy suspension came on the heels of three separate incidents inside a calendar year for Wilson.

Bettman released his 31-page decision on Thursday, which outlined why he held up Wilson’s suspension, which was handed down by George Parros and the NHL’s player safety department.

Per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Wilson’s appeal will be heard next Wednesday by Shyam Das. Das was the same arbitrator that reduced Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson’s suspension stemming from a domestic violence incident over the summer, so It wouldn’t be surprising to see Wilson’s suspension reduced through Das.

Wilson has already served nine of the 20 games (10 by the time the appeal is heard next week). At this point, it would appear this is more about retaining as much salary as he can rather than getting back on the ice.

Wilson is losing over $1.2 million because of the suspension. He signed a six-year, $31 million extension over the summer.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck