Ladies, gentleman. Guys, girls and babes. It it is happening tonight. TOM WILSON IS BACK TO PLAYING HOCKEY FOR THE WASHINGTON CAPITALS!!! OUR GOLDEN BOY HAS RETURNED TO US!!!
Just to recap, Tom Wilson was initially suspended for 20 games for his hit on Oskar Sundqvist in a preseason matchup against the St. Louis Blues. Wilson then appealed his suspension to commissioner Gary Bettman, where the suspension was upheld. Then, Wilson appealed Bettman’s decision to a neutral arbitrator. The same arbitrator that reduced Austin Watson’s suspension from 27 games for domestic assault to 18 games. The independent arbitrator, Shyam Das, reduced Wilson’s 20 game suspension to 14 games, making him eligible to play as early as tonight vs. the Minnesota Wild. Because he missed 16 games due to the suspension, he will recoup around $378,000 of the $1.2 million he was originally due to lose because of his suspension.
Now with that being said, I am so glad he is coming back. Like I said in my last blog, he injects life into this Washington Capitals team. He brings a sense of fear and intimidation that nobody else on the Capitals can quite bring to the table. However, a 14 game suspension is still a LONG suspension. And if Tom Wilson wants to stay on the ice, he has to change the way he plays. Last season, he was a first-line player and put up first-line numbers, the best of his young career actually.
Wilson needs to show maturity
What he needs to understand his team needs him now if they want to have a chance of repeating next season. He can still be physical, still be intimidating, but he doesn’t need to take stupid penalties on hits that are unnecessary. He’s a great hockey player and well-loved by everyone in the organization, the team, and the fan base. He is an asset when he’s on the ice and the whole team will benefit from his return.
The Capitals have a morning skate today in Minnesota at 12:30 p.m. where Todd Reirden will hopefully tell us more about Tom Wilson’s status in tonight’s game against Minnesota. I hope he starts tonight because this is a long road trip for the Capitals and he can inject that lineup with a drive and fire that they’ve lacked all season. But, welcome back Willy. We have missed you.
Tom Wilson WILL start tonight against the Minnesota Wild. HC Todd Reirden has reunited Wilson with Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Alex Ovechkin on the 1st line. Vrana-Backstrom-Oshie will now make up the 2nd, Burakovsky-Eller-Connolly will make up the 3rd, and Stephenson-Boyd-DSP will make up the 4th. Very similar to lines used in the Stanley Cup Playoff run last year.