The NHL’s Department of Player Safety just announced that Tom Wilson will have a hearing, his second in two weeks, for boarding Blues forward Samuel Blais.
Wilson received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for what the Blues called a “predatory hit” on their young player. Blais went to the quiet room and underwent concussion testing, but returned to the team’s bench in the third period.
Washington’s Tom Wilson will have a hearing tomorrow for boarding St. Louis’ Sam Blais.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) October 2, 2017
The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan reported that the team will carry 23 players for opening night. This will give the team an extra forward if Wilson gets suspended.
Earlier in the preseason, Wilson was suspended two preseason games for interference on St. Louis forward Robert Thomas, a hit the department of player safety said was late and forceful. Because that suspension is already on Wilson’s record, he could receive harsher discipline for this most recent hit because he would now be considered a repeat offender. MacLellan said the Capitals intend to have an opening night roster of 23 players, so if Wilson is suspended, the team would have an extra forward available on the roster who would be eligible to play in case someone were to get injured in one of the first few games.
After his most recent suspension, Wilson said that he wasn’t going to change his game.
“Every time you make a body check, you’re making a split-second decision,” Wilson said. “I take pride in the physical nature of my game. I take pride in my body checks. This is my fifth season, and I’ve made a lot of body checks — very clean, hard hits. So I trust myself. Maybe it was a second late or whatever, but I’m going to learn from it and I’m going to continue to play my game, my hard-natured hockey.”
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