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Deep Blue Sea: So long, Tom Wilson

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Sep 30, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) is escorted off the ice after receiving a match penalty for a check on St. Louis Blues center Oskar Sundqvist (not pictured) in the second period at Capital One Arena. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Wilson isn’t going down without a fight — because, well, fighting seems just kind of integral to who Tom Wilson is, really.

Wilson received a 20-game suspension on Wednesday following an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in their preseason meeting against the Washinton Capitals on Sunday.

Per Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washinton Post, here’s how the appeals process will work:

Wilson has 48 hours from the time the suspension was handed down to provide written notice of an appeal to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, but it’s highly unlikely Bettman will overturn the decision. Wilson could then appeal to a neutral arbitrator, and in both cases, Wilson would remain suspended during the appeal process (unless the full term of his suspension has run). The appeal would go through the NHL Players’ Association, not the Capitals.

Wilson will have to forfeit his salary from those 20 games to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. Because the suspension salary forfeit is factored based on average annual value and not the player’s current salary, Wilson will forfeit $1,260,162.60 in salary — more than his $1.1 million salary for the season.

Though 20 games may feel harsh, the Department of Player Safety emphasized in their ruling that Wilson’s status as a repeat offender is what led to the extreme measures. This is Wilson’s fourth suspension, all of them coming within 105 games played. That’s not only repeat offender status, but crosses somewhere into “not even trying to not commit a murder on ice” status.

For context, Raffi Torres, who was notably given a 41-game suspension for his fifth offense, was given 25 games on his fourth suspension and there were three years between those two suspensions.

Wilson will be eligible to return on November 21, well before the Sharks play the Capitals this season.

But at this rate, he might be suspended again before then, anyway.

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