Capitals' Tom Wilson eligible to return after arbitrator reduces suspension to 14 games

Tom Wilson's 20-game suspension has been reduced to 14 games as the result of a decision made by an independent arbitrator on Tuesday. Wilson will be eligible to return to the Capitals' lineup as early as Tuesday night, when the Caps face the Wild in Minnesota.

The NHL's Department of Player Safety decided on the 20-game ban after Wilson delivered a high, predatory hit on the Blues' Oskar Sundqvist in the Capitals' final preseason game. The lengthy suspension was handed out due to Sundqvist's head being the main point of contact, plus the fact that the hit resulted in an injury and Wilson has a history as a repeat offender. 

In fact, it was Wilson's fourth suspension in his last 105 games (including preseason and postseason contests), which the league called "an unprecedented frequency of suspensions in the history of the league's Department of Player Safety."

Wilson's appeal to the league was denied before he requested an arbitrator, who ultimately cut the suspension by six games. It's worth noting that Wilson has already served 16 games of that suspension and, while he won't be able to get those extra two games back, he will receive his game checks despite not playing. 

In total, the reduced suspension will recoup over $378,000 in salary for Wilson.

The neutral arbitrator, Shyam Das, who reduced Wilson's suspension is no stranger to controversy. He was fired by Major League Baseball in 2012 after overturning Ryan Braun's suspension after the Brewers' outfielder tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. Braun's case, at the time, marked the first time a baseball player had successfully challenged a drug-related penalty in a grievance.

Update: Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan has announced that Wilson will play Tuesday night in Minnesota.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories