Monday, the NHL announced that Tom Wilson would be meeting with the league office on Wednesday morning to discuss his illegal head hit on the St. Louis Blues’ Oskar Sundqvist.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was asked for his thoughts on the incident and he had a lot to say.
“We’ve talked about it a lot with him. He still chooses to make those hits,” Crosby said. “I’m sure the league is well aware of that. Not the first time we’re talking about a hit that he made. For whatever reason, he still decides to do that.”
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
“I think for the most part guys are pretty aware out there of what’s legal and what’s not,” Crosby said when it came to hits in the league in general.
As for the punishment, Crosby would want to see, and whether the league should do more to deter head hits, he added, “I just don’t know how many opportunities you need. So obviously the point hasn’t been made yet.”
The impact of Wilson’s loss for the Capitals was also something Crosby was asked about. The Penguins captain conceded that Wilson is a “good player.”
“He’s got speed, he goes hard to the net. He’s a tough guy to play against,” Crosby said. “So there’s really no reason to continue to hit like that.”
For his parting thoughts, Crosby also added that whether or not the injured player was on your team, it didn’t really affect how he felt about these kinds of hits. Crosby has suffered multiple concussions from blindside hits similar to the one Wilson delivered to Sundqvist, including one from former Capitals center David Steckel.
“You always feel for the guy, regardless of if you play with him or not. But you also understand that there are instances where guys get hit and it’s part of the game, it happens fast, their intent’s not there,” Crosby said. “But when a guy does it a handful of times you start to question what the intent is. I think that’s probably why you feel stronger about certain incidents than others. The fact that we play them a lot, and we just came off of a playoff series where we lost two guys because of a hit like that, I think it’s probably a little more fresh in your mind.”
The league’s request for an in-person hearing indicates that Wilson could receive a minimum six-game suspension.
Crosby’s comments come the season after Wilson ended Zach Aston-Reese’s postseason with a crunching hit that broke his jaw. Wilson received a three-game suspension for that hit.
This is Wilson’s fourth suspension over the last two seasons.
Additional reporting by Donya Abramo.
Headline Photo: Andrew Rush
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