Tom Wilson might be getting another call from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
The Washington Capitals winger, who already was suspended three games earlier in the Stanley Cup playoffs, could miss more time after delivering another brutal hit Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Wilson laid out Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault in open ice in the third period of Vegas’ eventual 6-4 victory. Officials huddled up to discuss the play and ultimately assessed Wilson a minor penalty for interference, rather than a major penalty.
Wilson tried to defend the hit after the game.
Wilson might believe the hit was OK, but Marchessault and Knights head coach Gerard Gallant feel much differently.
“I saw the hit. I remember everything,” Marchessault said after the game, via ESPN’s Emily Kaplan. “It was a late hit. I don’t really need to talk more about it. I think the league will take care of it. We know what type of player he is out there. You gotta keep your head up and try to make the play. I didn’t make the play, I was a little late, but whatever.”
“(The coaching staff was) upset about it. It was a big hit,” Gallant said. ” … For me, it was a late hit.”
The hit in and of itself might not have been suspension-worthy, especially given the magnitude of the moment. But given Wilson’s spotty history, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the NHL comes down hard on him.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images