I’m not usually so happy to be wrong as I was on Saturday night, when the NHL announced that Tom Wilson is suspended seven games for his Friday night hit on Brandon Carlo.
Despite Wilson having escaped being a repeat offender under the rules, the league’s explanation did make clear, “this is a player with a substantial disciplinary record,” so while Wilson doesn’t receive additional sanction as a repeat offender, his record was actually considered, which is a good move and an important step for the league to take and be open about.
Also interesting is that even within the NHL’s video explaining the suspension, they acknowledge the Capitals’ points that Wilson could have delivered a legal hit and that it is commonplace to cleanly hit an unsuspecting opponent, as Carlo was as he battled for the puck with Jakub Vrana.
As the video is narrated: “While there are aspects of this hit that may skirt the line between suspendible and not suspendible, it is the totality of the circumstances that cause this play to merit supplemental discipline.”
This is a departure from the NHL’s usual tack, which has been to try to find any reason possible to avoid putting the hammer down on disciplinary action. Just this past week, Alex Ovechkin got a mere $5,000 fine — the equivalent of a $25 penalty for someone making $50,000 — for spearing Trent Frederic right in the ol’ stick-and-pucks. That’s because $5,000 is the maximum fine without suspending a player under the CBA, which, okay, but then you’ve got to suspend a guy who does that.
Now Wilson actually is suspended. Good. Here’s hoping that instead of appealing on his behalf, the NHLPA declines to appeal on behalf of Carlo and all of Wilson’s other victims, past and hopefully not future.
Duke lost by 18 at Carolina, and will be the No. 10 seed in the ACC tournament, pretty much needing to run the table in Greensboro to make it to the NCAA field of 68.
Surely, any day now, everyone who teed off on Jalen Johnson and gloated over Duke’s winning streak after the pro prospect opted out of the remainder of the season will have something to say, right?
There were a lot of good goals in hockey on Saturday. Nobody was going to come close to Matthew Barzal, though.
The Sabres were always doomed this year, but making them continue to play in the loaded East just feels cruel.
White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks doing his best Jack Parkman is everything you didn’t know you needed.
Not enough people appreciate Major League 2. It’s definitely not as good as the original, and the Rick Vaughn storyline with his agent is complete trash, but Parkman is a Hall of Fame sports movie villain.
Some dingbat pitched an inning of a Cactus League game with one eye closed. Congratulations on the attention, and on not hurting anyone.