After close to 2 months, the Tom Wilson situation is finally resolved. An independent arbitrator officially reduced Wilson’s suspension for his headshot on former Penguin Oskar Sundqvist from 20 games to 14.
The hit that took place all the way back in the preseason (Sep 30th) resulted in Wilson’s 4th suspension in just over a calendar year.
Because of such a long process, the Caps have already played 16 games. Since time travel doesn’t exist at this time, Wilson will not be able to recoup those games, but his game checks will be a nice consolation.
The NHL actually tried (for once). The department of player safety dished out the hefty suspension in hopes of finally creating a change in Wilson and all 20 games were held up by commissioner Gary Bettman. The arbitrator that finally retracted the 6 games is a completely separate entity.
Good on the NHL. Hope this trend continues as predatory plays become nearly extinct in the sport.
What does this mean for the Pens?
Pretty much nothing.
The Pens have already had the advantage of playing the Capitals twice without the fear of a 220 pound train seeking out their skulls. But they were not set to meet again in these next 4 games Wilson was previously suspended for.
The Penguins meet the Capitals December 19th in Washington. It should be Wilson’s first game versus Pittsburgh since knocking Zach Aston-Reese out of the playoffs in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semis.