By Katie Adler
The NHL trade deadline is less than 24 hours away. The Capitals have already traded five of their veterans to contending teams and there’s the possibility that even more could be out the door soon. As other NHL teams look for last-minute pick-ups, Tom Wilson’s name has even been bandied about on Hockey Twitter.
Wait… Tom Wilson?
The reason why is because of former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Tyler Kennedy. Kennedy played six seasons with the Pens and won the Stanley Cup with them in 2009.
Kennedy tweeted (falsely) that Wilson was being traded “to the Penquins [so sic] – stay tune [so sic].”
Tom Wilson to the Penquins – stay tune #LetsGoPens
— Tyler Kennedy (@Kennedy4848) March 2, 2023
Many Capitals fans saw the tweet. Some didn’t know what to make of it. Others were scared – perhaps only temporarily.
“I had several friends who reached out to me privately and asked me why the Capitals were trading Wilson to Pittsburgh,” RMNB co-founder Ian Oland said. “They were terrifed and taking it completely seriously. I had to explain to them that Kennedy, in fact, was shit-posting online.”
Kennedy’s tweet was getting so much play online, The Associated Press’s Stephen Whyno commented on Twitter that it would never happen.
Penguins fans weren’t quite sure how to feel about a possible trade for their longtime rival. Reactions swung from I would immediately stop watching and become a Flyers fan to this makes sense for the Pens and even I hate his guts but will buy his jersey the moment they trade for him.
The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian also got in on the fun:
I obviously have zero clue is this is true but it’s very funny
— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) March 2, 2023
Though Kennedy was wrong about an imminent trade, he does genuinely think it would be a good move for the Penguins, talking about Wilson on Pittsburgh radio station 93.7 The Fan.
Former Penguin @Kennedy4848: “I would trade my 1st round pick for Tom Wilson.” 👀
Would you want to see the Pens make this move ahead of the NHL trade deadline?
📻: https://t.co/c88kMUMidA pic.twitter.com/OjE0QH586N
— 93.7 The Fan (@937theFan) March 2, 2023
“I think the way he plays is something that the Penguins are missing a little bit,” Kennedy said. “Imagine putting him on the third line. And we know what he does…That’s a valuable, valuable piece to have in the playoffs: that guy that can, when things aren’t going your way can crush a guy like he did to [Zach] Aston-Reese, and it turned things around.”
While he has missed much of this season due to injury, Wilson has been a solid part of an often-unsteady Capitals roster. He has nine points in 14 games, including six points in six games since returning from his most recent injury on February 18th.
A few hours after Kennedy’s tweet, Wednesday night, Wilson earned the first star of the game against the Anaheim Ducks with two goals (including the OT winner,) a fight that left him bloodied, and excellent contributions in all areas of the game.
Wilson has also been suggested as a trade target by some fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. One Leafs fan even tweeted about Wilson, a Toronto native, to “bring him home.”
Despite his on-ice reputation, Wilson is well-liked by at least some fans in his hometown.
Forgot to share this little story involving Tom Wilson at Game 6 in Toronto. @russianmachine pic.twitter.com/4OHYuuXmH7
— Steve “Dangle” Glynn (@Steve_Dangle) April 27, 2017
Despite the trade-deadline fervor, it’s fairly clear that Wilson will remain a Capital for many years to come. Still, it’s nice to see Wilson get some positive attention from around the league. Even if (maybe especially if) he’s sticking around in DC.
me reading the “bring tom wilson home” tweets pic.twitter.com/mIvTuoNH4a
— caps flop era (@kuzynator) February 26, 2023
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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