Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has been suspended 20 games by NHL's Department of Player Safety, the league announced on Wednesday afternoon.
The ban comes as a result of a high, predatory hit Wilson delivered in the Capitals' final preseason game on Sunday. As the Capitals faced the Blues, Wilson crushed St. Louis forward Oskar Sundqvist in open ice and was given a match penalty as a result.
Here's the hit in question:
Tom Wilson crushes Oskar Sundqvist. Wilson has been ejected. #stlblues pic.twitter.com/RuNKjC2fFi— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) September 30, 2018
Sundqvist sustained upper body injuries as a result of Wilson's hit and, according to St. Louis coach Mike Yeo, he could miss a good amount of time.
In a video announcing the ruling, the league determined that Sundqvist's head was the main point of contact on the collision, and that Wilson could have avoided contact with the head. They also factored in Sundqvist's injury and Wilson's status as a repeat offender.
Washington’s Tom Wilson suspended twenty games for an Illegal Check to the Head on St. Louis’ Oskar Sundqvist. https://t.co/ojQ4yN6oFN— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) October 3, 2018
This is 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."
He was banned three times last season alone, missing four preseason games, two regular season games, and three playoff games.