On Wednesday, the NHL designated Tom Wilson as a non-roster player, allowing the Capitals to activate Michal Kempny off of the injured reserve without putting a player on waivers.
As long as Wilson is suspended, he does not count towards the Capitals’ active twenty-three player roster.
Per @ikhurshudyan the NHL has granted Tom Wilson 'Non-Roster Player' status during his suspension. Meaning he does not occupy one of the clubs roster spots like a suspended player normally would. This allows the #Caps to activate Kempny off IR without having to send someone down. pic.twitter.com/frXnMNqPwC
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) October 10, 2018
Wilson’s cap hit still applies though.
As it turns out, Tom Wilson is considered an active non-roster player. His cap hit is still on the books, but he doesn't count against the team's roster max of 23. So to activate Michal Kempny off IR, the Caps didn't actually have to send anyone down, and they didn't.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) October 10, 2018
The non-roster status gives the Capitals more roster flexibility with one of their best forwards out for a quarter of the season. Wilson is currently scheduled to return to game action on November 21.
Wilson plans to appeal his twenty-game suspension to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and that meeting will be next week. If Bettman sides with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, Wilson can appeal to a neutral party.
Wilson carries an average annual salary of $5.166 million, and the twenty-four-year-old forward would lose almost $1.3 million if he serves the full suspension time.
With Travis Boyd still on the long-term injured reserve, the Capitals will be able to keep their current roster intact. If Wilson’s suspension is reduced or Boyd returns sooner than expected, the team will have to make a tough decision about who to put on waivers.
Headline Photo: Elizabeth Kong
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