- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 7, 2021

Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has been suspended seven games for boarding Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo, the league announced Saturday night.

Wilson’s hit came early in Friday night’s 5-1 loss to the Bruins, driving Carlo into the glass. Carlo was transported to the hospital, but coach Bruce Cassidy said Saturday the defenseman had since been released and was resting at home.

Wilson can appeal the suspension. If he does miss seven games, he’ll forfeit $311,781.61 — that money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Wilson has a history of hard hits in the NHL, and he’s been disciplined for it before. This is Wilson’s fifth suspension during his eight-season career. In a video by the Department of Player Safety explaining the decision to suspend Wilson, his history seemed to play a role.

“This is a player with a substantial disciplinary record taking advantage of an opponent who is in a defenseless position, and doing so with significant force,” the video said.

The video also explained the ruling that Carlo was in a defenseless position at the time of the hit.

“On this play, the combination of Carlo’s battle with [Jakub] Vrana, his head being low as he looks for the puck, and Wilson’s angle of approach, combine to leave Carlo in a position where he is defenseless,” the video said. “Through no fault of his own, he is in a position where he is unable to brace for contact, anticipate the hit, or protect himself in any way from Wilson, who is approaching from outside his field of vision.”

After the incident, Capitals coach Peter Laviolette downplayed the severity of the collision, saying “it looked like just a hit.” Laviolette said Wilson kept his skates on the ice and tried to stay down.

Boston, meanwhile, took exception to the play. Defenseman Jarred Tinordi and center Trent Frederic both fought Wilson after the hit.

“That was a bull[expletive] there,” winger Brad Marchand said to NESN during an intermission interview. “Brando [Carlo] had his head down in the corner. He took a liberty at a guy that was in a vulnerable spot. It was a [expletive] cheap shot there and we lost a great player.”


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