The post Tom Wilson Suspension Shows “Tom Wilson Tax” a Real Thing appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

Tom Wilson, notorious for his aggressive style of play and willingness to cross the line of what’s legal in the NHL, has been suspended for six games by the NHL Department of Player Safety (DoPS) following a high-sticking incident involving Noah Gregor. As expected, reactions to the suspension are divided. What seems to be universally agreed upon is that the six games are a result of it being Tom Wilson who was under review.

Notably, comparisons have been drawn between Wilson’s suspension and previous rulings, such as Jacob Trouba‘s fine for a similar offense. Greg Wyshynski of ESPN highlights the Capitals’ anticipation of a lengthier suspension, suggesting that Wilson successfully argued against intent, resulting in a ruling of “reckless” stick use. Still, the NHL DoPS came down harder than they might have if this was any other player.

Three things about the @Capitals Tom Wilson suspension

1. Why 6 games? Despite his history, it’s his 1st stick foul suspension. I think the NHL considered total history, but this didn’t build on any specific previous suspension. Was also his 1st DoPS infraction since May 2021. pic.twitter.com/gstaBxRCM0

— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) March 23, 2024

The atmosphere surrounding the incident is fascinating. While the play’s recklessness is acknowledged, the six-game suspension appears to reflect Wilson’s reputation rather than solely the severity of the infraction. Commentators like Steve Dangle of SDPN characterize it as “Tom Wilson paying the Tom Wilson tax,” alluding to the player’s history of disciplinary actions.

Wilson’s History of Supplemental Discipline Will Eventually Lead to Massive Suspension

Examining Wilson’s past infractions reveals a pattern of aggressive behavior and subsequent disciplinary measures. The DoPS referenced it in the video about his high stick on Gregor. From fines for roughing to suspensions for illegal hits, Wilson’s rap sheet underscores the fact that the Department of Player Safety is prepared to crack down when he crosses the line. The next infraction could lead to a lengthy suspension, potentially in the 15 games or more range.

Tom Wilson High stick Noah Gregor

As good as Wilson is, his career remains marred by a series of incidents, prompting a longer look at his on-ice conduct and its implications for player safety. Every time he gets in trouble, the NHL DoPS will have to grapple with maintaining a fair punishment, but also consider his past. May argue there isn’t enough player accountability in professional hockey. Wilson is the kind of player the NHL might use to suggest that assumption is incorrect.

The fact the Capitals were expecting this suspension to be longer tells you all you need to know. Even they know their own guy is creeping close to being made an example of.

Next: 3 Reasons the Maple Leafs Should Re-Sign Max Domi

The post Tom Wilson Suspension Shows “Tom Wilson Tax” a Real Thing appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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