On Friday evening, whoever runs the Washington Capitals’ Twitter account posted a smart bit of pandering to a certain subsection of hockey fans, with this smoldering workout video ahead of their game against the Boston Bruins.
When this was dropped into Defector Slack on Friday, it was met with a chorus of very respectful “Wow, who is that?”s. Imagine my surprise when I was informed that these lower-body muscles belonged to Tom Wilson! The Caps forward is typically known for his dirty hits, lengthy suspensions, and injuries inflicted on opposing players. But for a brief moment, he enjoyed some universal popularity among those who, uh, like to watch his thighs move like that.
And then the little prick couldn’t even go one period before he squandered all this goodwill.
About 19 minutes into the game for which he warmed up so intriguingly, Wilson rocketed into Brandon Carlo’s head while the unsuspecting Bruin was trying to play the puck in the corner. The hit, somehow, was not called as a penalty by any of the refs in real time, but it put Carlo in an ambulance and led to him spending the night at the hospital.
The Bruins tried to dish out some vigilante justice by fighting Wilson twice in their eventual 5-1 win. But the more serious consequences for the hit came from the league, following a hearing with the Caps player on Saturday. That night, the NHL announced that Wilson would serve a seven-game suspension for boarding Carlo—his fifth suspension since September 2017.
“While there are aspects of this hit that may skirt the line between suspendable and not suspendable, it is the totality of the circumstances that cause this play to merit supplemental discipline,” the Department of Player Safety said in the explainer video.
“What separates this hit from others is the direct and significant contact to a defenseless player’s face and head causing a violent impact with the glass. This is a player with a substantial disciplinary record taking advantage of an opponent who is in a defenseless position and doing so with significant force.”
No mention is made of Wilson’s rockin’ ass in the video.