George Parros is already hard at work in his new job. The NHL’s recently-appointed Director of Player Safety has handed down his first disciplinary action.
Capitals winger Tom Wilson has been suspended for two preseason games after a late hit on Blues forward Robert Thomas. Wilson’s hit came with 14:13 remaining in the third period of Friday’s game. No penalty was called on the play by referees Jean Hebert and Wes McCauley.
“With the puck long gone from Thomas’ control,” the NHL video states, “Wilson finishes the check with force, knocking Thomas to the ice.”
The league clocked the hit as coming ‘over a full second’ after Thomas had control of the puck, well past the point where Tomas is eligible to be checked. The hit was deemed suspension-worthy because of the ‘predatory nature and force of the hit.’
St. Louis forward Dmitrij Jaskin looked to exact some frontier justice, dropping the gloves to challenge Wilson after the hit. Both players headed to the box with matching majors for fighting.
“I didn’t think anything of it,” said Caps coach Barry Trotz of the hit, “but obviously [the NHL Department of Player Safety] did. And they watch that a lot closer than we do. I was a little surprised.”
Wilson loses no salary as part of the suspension. This was his first suspension, though his actions have come under review by Player Safety in the past. The ruling does set Wilson up to be flagged as a repeat offender for any future discipline from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.