After keeping their hands in their pockets and looking the other way throughout Friday’s matchup between the Bruins and Capitals, the NHL finally decided to offer some semblance of action after yet another dangerous shot from Washington’s Tom Wilson resulted in a seriously injured player — with the NHL Department of Player Safety scheduling a hearing with the controversial winger.
Washington’s Tom Wilson has been offered an in-person hearing via Zoom for Boarding Boston’s Brandon Carlo. Date and time TBD.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 6, 2021
By offering an “in-person” hearing (it won’t technically be, due to COVID), the door is opened for the NHL to levy a harsher sentence against Wilson for injuring Brandon Carlo with a dangerous high hit — with traditional phone hearings regularly capping suspensions between 1-5 games.
And yet, even if Wilson — who was suspended four times in a span of just 13 months for illegal hits — is eventually suspended for sending Carlo to the hospital in an ambulance, it’s tough to feel satisfied.
If you’re the Bruins, no punitive measures are going to bring back Carlo, who now faces a steep uphill climb from what was likely a severe concussion.
“He got released from the hospital earlier this morning,” Bruce Cassidy said of Carlo’s status as of Saturday afternoon. “So he’s back home, hasn’t been at the rink, obviously. And that’s all I got from the trainers this morning.”
As tough as the optics are of Wilson crunching another defenseless skater into the boards, the worst part of the entire incident — aside from the murky status of the defenseless B’s skater — is that such an event seemed inevitable, with multiple failings from the league, the on-ice officials and even the players themselves leading to a situation in which the NHL now has to clean up another mess caused by a skater with a proven rap sheet.