Capitals’ Wilson to have in-person hearing for hit on Bruins’ Carlo

Washington Capitals' Tom Wilson hits Boston Bruins' Brandon Carlo on forecheck in the head against the glass, no penalties on the play. Carlo had to be helped off of the ice.

Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson will have an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety for his hit on Boston Bruins defenceman Brandon Carlo Friday night.

The in-person hearing, to be conducted via Zoom on Saturday night, means the NHL has the option to suspend Wilson for more than five games.

“Now, initially, it was not a Rule 48 violation not an illegal check to the head, because it wasn’t the main point of contact, but after reviewing, they went to rule 41 which will be imposed on any player who checks or pushes a defenceless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently or dangerously,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said on Saturday Headlines.

“That’s what we’re talking about here. Now boarding suspensions tend not to be as long as illegal check to the head suspensions. Wilson has one in his history, it was four games. The most recent one I could find that was the longest was Zach Ronaldo, from about five years ago that one was a game.”

The hit came with 90 second left in the first period of Friday night’s game when Wilson hit Carlo’s head into the glass with a high check in the corner behind the Bruins net. Carlo immediately grabbed his head after the hit, was slow to get up and had to be helped off the ice after several minutes. No penalty was assessed on the play.

Carlo was taken to hospital in an ambulance as a result of the hit, according to Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, and was released early Saturday morning.

After Friday’s game, Cassidy called Wilson’s hit “a predatory hit from a player who’s done that before.”

The Bruins retaliated for the hit by fighting Wilson a couple of times throughout the remainder of the game – Jarred Tinordi and Wilson fought in the second period and Trent Frederic squared off with Wilson in the final frame, which earned Frederic a 10-minute misconduct.

Wilson has been suspended by the NHL four times since September 2017, the most recent being a 20-game ban that was reduced to 14 in October 2018 for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist.

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