Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson intends to appeal the 20-game suspension the NHL levied on him in the wake of his hit to the head on the St. Louis Blues’ Oskar Sundqvist during a pre-season game, Washington coach Todd Reirden told reporters Thursday.
Taking place in Washington’s final pre-season game, Wilson delivered a massive blindside hit in open ice to the head of Sundqvist as the centre was getting rid of the puck.
As a result, Wilson was nailed with a lengthy 20-game suspension by the NHL, presumably because he is a repeat offender.
On Wednesday night, as the Capitals opened their season against the Boston Bruins, Boston forward Brad Marchand jumped Washington centre Lars Eller, an action that saw the Bruins star hit with a game misconduct and a storm of controversy.
There’s been no word of extra discipline in the wake of Marchand’s actions yet. The Capitals are hopeful the league will step in and come down on him similarly to the way it did on Wilson, however, because of precedent set as repeat offenders.
“I think it’s unfortunate for Tom that the league is making an example out of him,” Oshie told reporters after Wednesday’s game. “They set the standards. They want to get the dirty stuff out of the game which, at least, Tom’s play was on the ice and he was hitting a guy who had the puck milliseconds before.
“And then you see out there tonight the sucker punches that Lars took in. So they set the standard, Marchand has a history and we trust that they’ll do what they’re supposed to do.”