Capitals' Tom Wilson will not be suspended for hit from behind on Devils' Brett Seney
Wilson was ejected for the hit but won't face supplemental discipline
Tom Wilson has played only nine games since his last suspension -- that was ultimately to start the year -- and he's stirring the pot once again. This time, though, he won't be banned for it.
The Washington Capitals forward found himself in hot water on Friday night during his team's contest against the New Jersey Devils. Near the end of the second period, Wilson was ejected for a hit from behind on Devils forward Brett Seney.
Seney appeared to be injured as a result of the contact but would ultimately return to the game a few minutes into the third period.
Here are a few looks in GIF form:
Although Wilson was sent to the showers for an illegal check to the head, it doesn't appear that the head was the principal point of contact on the hit. Seney confirmed as much after the game, saying "it was more kind of [the] back of my shoulder." It also seemed to be more of a clip, or incidental contact, than a full-on hit.
Regardless, the contact still came late and from behind in a spot where Seney is vulnerable and defenseless. The onus is on Wilson to avoid contact in that situation and he had plenty of space to do so, even with Seney gliding backward toward the top of the circle. Wilson, who is also gliding, doesn't make enough effort to get out of the way. He moves his leg, but the body stays the course.
All things considered, this isn't an egregious play by Wilson -- especially by his standards -- but it's an unnecessary and avoidable one. With his history as a repeat offender (he has been suspended four times since the beginning of last season) and the reputation he has earned, most plays involving him are going to be subject to intense scrutiny. It's not a surprise that talks of supplemental discipline generated immediately, at least among fans and pundits.
However, it was reported Saturday morning that the league's Department of Player Safety will not be looking to give supplemental discipline.
The match penalty Wilson received on the ice is already more than most players would have received in that situation. For most, it's probably merely an interference minor.
But Wilson isn't most guys, and he has lost all right to benefit of the doubt. He has to know better than to put himself in this spot, especially so soon after his last ban, but so often it seems like he just can't help himself.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
De Haan helps a Blackhawks team in desperate need of defense and penalty killing
Examining the top players in this year's free agent class
Keeping track of all the latest rumors and reports from the 2019 NHL offseason
A complete rundown of what all 31 teams did in Vancouver this weekend
Full coverage and analysis of the 2019 NHL Draft
The big-name defenseman is on the move after three seasons in Nashville