Tom Wilson’s really, really long hearing is finally over.
Thursday, the Capitals forward met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in New York to appeal his 20-game suspension for a head hit on Oskar Sundqvist during the Capitals’ final preseason game.
Details about the appeal are scant, but Wilson’s hearing, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, lasted seven hours. Bettman will review the transcripts and issue his ruling sometime next week.
Wilson hearing is over. Total of 7 hours with breaks.
Bettman will take weekend to read transcripts and then write his ruling.
Decision expected midweek.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) October 18, 2018
Wilson has been suspended four times over the last two seasons.
In the NHL’s initial ruling on Wilson’s suspension, the Department of Player Safety stated that “including preseason and postseason, this is Wilson’s fourth suspension in his last 105 games, an unprecedented frequency of suspensions.” Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, “players who repeatedly violate league rules will be more severely punished for each new violation.”
Whatever Bettman ultimately rules, Wilson will be able to appeal to an independent arbitrator — the same person who most recently reduced the 27-game suspension of Austin Watson by nine. Watson pleaded no-contest to domestic assault charges.
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