Tom Wilson was suspended seven games by the NHL Department of Player Safety on Saturday.
It is the fifth suspension in the NHL for the Washington Capitals forward, all since September 2017, and his first since the start of the 2018-19 season. He also has been fined twice.
Wilson was suspended for boarding Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo on Friday. The incident occurred at 18:27 of the first period of Washington’s 5-1 loss at TD Garden.
Wilson did not receive a penalty. Carlo left the game and was hospitalized for an upper-body injury; he was released Saturday.
“I texted Brandon this morning, he’s feeling better,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Sunday. “He’s obviously going to be out for a while, but he’s feeling better.”
Cassidy said Carlo is considered week to week.
“While there are aspects of this hit that may skirt the line between suspendable and not suspendable, it is the totality of the circumstances that cause this play to merit supplemental discipline,” the Department of Player Safety explainer video states. “What separates this hit from others is the direct and significant contact to a defenseless player’s face and head causing a violent impact with the glass. 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.”
Wilson began serving his suspension in Washington’s 3-1 win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
Wilson previously was suspended two preseason games for interference against St. Louis Blues forward Robert Thomas during a preseason game Sept. 22, 2017; four regular-season games for boarding Blues forward Sammy Blais during a preseason game Oct. 1, 2017; three Stanley Cup Playoff games for an illegal check to the head of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese in a playoff game May 1, 2018; and 20 regular-season games for an illegal check to the head of Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in a preseason game Sept. 20, 2018.
The 20-game suspension was reduced to 14 games by a neutral arbitrator, and Wilson missed the first 16 games of that season.
Wilson was fined $2,403.67 for kneeing Penguins forward Conor Sheary during a playoff game on April 28, 2016, and $2,000 for embellishment against the Minnesota Wild on March 19, 2015.
Wilson would be eligible to return March 20 against the New York Rangers. He has scored 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 21 games this season.
He entered the NHL in 2013-14 and has 205 points (85 goals, 120 assists) and 1,052 penalty minutes in 543 NHL games, all with the Capitals.