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Tom Wilson suspension timeline: Controversial Capital has built career on blurring lines

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Tom Wilson suspension timeline: Controversial Capital has built career on blurring lines

Capitals forward Tom Wilson has long been a notorious NHL delinquent and Undesirable No. 1 for the league’s Department of Player Safety through his polarizing career. His controversial playing style is effective at flustering opponents and angering their fan bases, but sometimes it goes too far, resulting in injury.

He had gone almost 2 1/2 years without formal punishment from the league despite continuing to play with reckless abandon, because the NHL’s ambiguous rules regarding upper-body contact make those types of plays difficult to prosecute. He finally received justice with a seven-game suspension — which will cost him $311,781.61 — for boarding the Bruins’ Brandon Carlo in a March 5 game.  

MORE: On becoming an NHL villain, from someone who would know

As of March 6, no player in the NHL has been penalized more since Wilson entered the league in 2013. Of his 333 penalties (regular-season only) during that span, more than 20 percent have been majors (72). They add up to 1,052 minutes, including 16 misconducts and two match penalties. Only three other players (Antoine Roussel, Cody McLeod and Evander Kane) have more than 700 penalty minutes. Again, these figures don’t even include his postseason misbehavior.

Wilson has now been suspended five times and fined twice by the league.

Regardless of one’s opinion about Wilson’s play, one thing can’t be debated: He has repeatedly placed himself in situations worthy of scrutiny. Here’s a general timeline recapping each of those instances. 

This article was originally published in 2018. Tom Gatto contributed to this report.

May 2021

Wilson “crossed the line” again during a May 3 game against the Rangers, at least in the view of New York coach David Quinn and captain Mika Zibanejad.

Wilson incited a brawl in the second period when he punched Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich in the back of the head during a netside scrum while Buchnevich was in a defenseless position. Moments later, while officials worked to separate players from both teams, Wilson tore off the helmet of star Artemi Panarin and twice slammed him to the ice, injuring Panarin in the process.

Wilson was penalized four minutes for roughing and a 10-minute game misconduct. Panarin served a two-minute minor for roughing and didn’t return to the game due to injury. 

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety issued Wilson a $5,000 fine “for roughing” Buchnevich. It did not mention the incident with Panarin and declined to suspend Wilson, once again drawing the ire of his critics.

“We all saw it. There are lines that can’t be crossed in this game. There’s just zero respect for the game in general,” Quinn said after the game. “You got one of the star players in this league now that could have gotten seriously, seriously hurt in that incident. You all saw what happened, and it happens time and time again with him. Totally unnecessary.”

March 2021

Wilson went such a long time between sanctions not because he had cleaned up his act, but because he hadn’t done enough to get the NHL to pay attention. Then came his high hit on Carlo. 

Carlo’s head struck the end boards glass after Wilson led a check with his shoulder. Carlo had to leave the game and was later taken to a Boston hospital. No penalty was called, which angered Boston’s bench even more. 

The NHL announced a hearing with Wilson the next day. The league then handed down the seven-game ban.

“While there are aspects of this hit that may skirt the line between suspendable and not suspendable, it is the totality of the cirucmstances that caused this play to merit supplemental discipline,” the Department of Player safety said. “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.”

October 2018

Despite good-faith discussions in the offseason about trying to tweak a safer playing style, Wilson started the 2018-19 season in the place he’s been frequently the last few years: In hot water with the DPoS. In the Capitals’ final preseason game, Wilson blindsided Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist with a high hit. Wilson was given a match penalty, and Sundqvist suffered a concussion and shoulder injury. 

As the hockey world called on the NHL to send a strong message once and for all, the league levied its harshest penalty yet against Wilson, suspending him for the first 20 games to begin the regular season. The DPoS cited his status as a repeat offender and an “unprecedented frequency of suspensions” to justify the longest suspension in the NHL since 2015. Wilson forfeited $1,260,162.60 in salary.

2018 playoffs

Wilson drew scrutiny on four (!) separate occasions during the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup run. The first was during Game 1 of the first-round series against the Blue Jackets when he was penalized for charging Alexander Wennberg. The Department of Player Safety took a look but ultimately ruled against supplementary discipline because the replay angles “could not determine whether or not Wennberg’s head was the main point of contact.” Wilson didn’t receive a hearing.

Then, Wilson knocked Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin from Game 2. Dumoulin had been skating in front of Wilson, pulling up at the last second to avoid a hit from an incoming Alex Ovechkin. Wilson followed through on his check, hitting Dumoulin in the head, but he wasn’t penalized. Wilson explained the hit as being the result of Dumoulin’s last-second maneuver. He again avoided a hearing with the DoPS.

The most egregious — and the one that finally landed Wilson a three-game suspension — occurred during Game 3, when a hit to the head of the Penguins’ Zach Aston-Reese, which broke the rookie’s jaw and caused a concussion.

Wilson argued the point of contact was Aston-Reese’s shoulder, and depending on the angle of the replay, it could be inconclusive as to whether it constituted an illegal check to the head under current rules.

Wilson again stirred up suspension chatter during the Stanley Cup Final’s Game 1, barreling into the blind side of Jonathan Marchessault. The Golden Knights’ playoff scoring leader, well behind the play, had released the puck with plenty of advance notice for Wilson to ease up. The NHL ultimately spared Wilson again.

2017 preseason

Wilson was suspended twice before the 2017-18 season began. He sat out two exhibitions — the NHL equivalent of a slap on the wrist — for a Sept. 22 hit on the Blues’ Robert Thomas.

Eight days later, Wilson received the harshest penalty of his career to date after boarding Sam Blais in another exhibition against the Blues, resulting in a major penalty and a game misconduct. The DoPS came down hard on Wilson, suspending him for the first four games of the regular season — the only meaningful suspension Wilson has served until now. He forfeited $97,560.96 in game salary.

December 2016: John Moore

Devils defenseman John Moore had to be stretchered off the ice after Wilson hit him from behind, driving Moore into the boards face first. Wilson wasn’t penalized. Moore was diagnosed with a concussion and missed 17 games. The DoPS did not arrange a hearing.

April 2016: Conor Sheary

Wilson was spared a suspension but was fined $2,900 (the maximum allowable under the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement) for a knee-on-knee collision with Penguins forward Conor Sheary during Game 1 of their second-round series in 2016. While skating to the bench, Wilson deliberately went out of his way to make contact with Sheary, who was in pain but remained in the game. Wilson wasn’t penalized.

April 2016: Nikita Zadorov

Wilson’s April 1 hit on Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov split the clean-vs.-dirty discussion down the middle. As Zadorov traced behind the net, Wilson came barreling down the other side of the ice and lit up his unsuspecting target. Zadorov suffered a concussion but played in each of Colorado’s remaining four games. Wilson, who wasn’t penalized during the game, didn’t receive a suspension.

December 2015: Brian Campbell

Wilson was ejected in the third period of a Dec. 10 game against the Panthers for boarding defenseman Brian Campbell. That stood as his only penalty as the DoPS determined the hit wasn’t suspension-worthy. Campbell didn’t miss a game.

December 2015: Curtis Lazar

Wilson received a match penalty for a hit to the head of Senators forward Curtis Lazar, but the penalty was later rescinded by the NHL before Wilson served the mandatory one-game suspension. The Capitals had argued the contact to the head was accidental, instead caused by an initial check to the hip. The league never publicly explained its decision and the match penalty was scrubbed from Wilson’s record.

April 2015: Lubomir Visnovsky

Wilson received a charging minor for leveling Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky in Game 4 of the Capitals’ first-round playoff series in 2015, a play that injured Visnovsky, a serial concussion victim, and kept him out the remaining three games of the series. Wilson wasn’t disciplined further.

December 2013: Brayden Schenn

Wilson’s first run-in with the NHL’s disciplinarians concerned a Dec. 17 hit of the Flyers’ Brayden Schenn, when Wilson charged in from the blue line and leveled Schenn into the end boards. Wilson was ejected, and the play drew a phone hearing with the DoPS. The league ultimately decided against a suspension and instead released a long-winded video explaining its decision to spare Wilson.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6wdxtAxc64

This article has been updated from its original publication to reflect Wilson’s complete disciplinary information.

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NBA playoff scenarios 2021: Updated playoff picture, seeds ahead of play-in tournament, first round

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NBA playoff scenarios 2021: Updated playoff picture, seeds ahead of play-in tournament, first round

What do we know about the NBA playoff seedings with just two days remaining in the 2020-21 regular season? Well, not much.

After Friday night’s slate of games, only the 76ers, Celtics and Spurs know exactly where they stand. Philadelphia has clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, while Boston (No. 7 in the East) and San Antonio (No. 10 in the West) have locked in their spots for the play-in tournaments.

NBA STANDINGS: Seeding scenarios, breakdown for playoff spots

With teams still jockeying for position, here is a breakdown of the clinching scenarios for Saturday’s games along with the possible seedings in each conference.

NBA playoff scenarios 2021

Eastern Conference

1. 76ers
2. Nets or Bucks
3. Nets or Bucks
4. Hawks, Heat or Knicks
5. Hawks, Heat or Knicks
6. Hawks, Heat or Knicks
———————————
7. Celtics
8. Hornets, Pacers or Wizards
9. Hornets, Pacers or Wizards
10. Hornets, Pacers or Wizards

  • The Hawks clinch the Southeast Division title with a loss by the Heat.

Western Conference

1. Jazz or Suns
2. Jazz or Suns
3. Nuggets or Clippers
4. Nuggets or Clippers
5. Mavericks or Trail Blazers
6. Mavericks, Trail Blazers or Lakers
—————————
7. Trail Blazers or Lakers
8. Warriors or Grizzlies
9. Warriors or Grizzlies
10. Spurs

  • The Trail Blazers clinch a playoff spot with a loss by the Lakers.
  • The Jazz clinch the best record in the West with a loss by the Suns.

NBA standings 2021: Eastern Conference

Seed Team Record Games back
1. 76ers* 48-23
2. Nets* 46-24 1.5
3. Bucks* 45-25 2.5
4. Hawks* 40-31 8
5. Heat* 39-31 8.5
6. Knicks* 39-31 8.5
7. Celtics** 35-35 12.5
8. Hornets** 33-37 14.5
9. Pacers** 33-37 14.5
10. Wizards** 33-38 15
Bulls 30-40 17.5
Raptors 27-44 21
Cavaliers 22-49 26
Magic 21-50 27
Pistons 20-51 28

*clinched playoff berth
**clinched play-in berth
Eliminated from playoff contention: Bulls, Cavaliers, Magic, Pistons, Raptors

NBA standings 2021: Western Conference

Seed Team Record Games back
1. Jazz* 51-20
2. Suns* 49-21 1.5
3. Nuggets* 47-24 4
4. Clippers* 47-24 4
5. Mavericks* 42-29 9
6. Trail Blazers 41-30 10
7. Lakers 40-30 10.5
8. Warriors** 38-33 13
9. Grizzlies** 38-33 13
10. Spurs** 33-37 17.5
Pelicans 31-40 20
Kings 31-40 20
Timberwolves 22-48 28.5
Thunder 21-50 30
Rockets 17-54 34

*clinched playoff berth
**clinched play-in berth

Eliminated from playoff contention: Kings, Pelicans, Rockets, Thunder, Timberwolves

NBA playoff bracket 2021

(NBA)

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Preakness live race updates, results, highlights from 2021 Triple Crown race

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Preakness live race updates, results, highlights from 2021 Triple Crown race

Two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, the second leg of the Triple Crown Race is here.

The 2021 Preakness Stakes has even more intrigue this year because of the controversy surrounding Medina Spirit, winner of the Derby. A test result from after the race found the horse to have 21 picograms of betamethasone, 11 more than the legal race limit. Trainer Bob Baffert insists that the positive test wasn’t a result of drugging, calling Churchill Downs’ decision to invalidate the horse’s win — pending a second positive test — “an injustice.”

Adding to the controversy: Mandaloun, the runner-up from the Derby, will be retroactively deemed the winner at Churchill Downs should a second test confirm the first. But Mandaloun will not run at the Pimlico Race Course. So we could have a scenario in which Medina Spirit wins the race without being in the official running for the Triple Crown.

All the more reason to watch Saturday’s spectacle. Follow along as Sporting News provides live updates during the 2021 Preakness Stakes.

MORE: Payout breakdown for 2021 Preakness Stakes

Preakness Stakes finish order

This section will be updated with final race results.

Post position Horse Win Place Show
1 Medina Spirit      
2 Mandaloun      
3 Hot Rod Charlie      
4 Essential Quality      
5 O Besos      
6 Midnight Bourbon      
7 Keepmeinmind      
8 Helium      
9 Known Agenda      
10 Highly Motivated      

Watch the 2021 Preakness Stakes

This section will be updated.

Preakness Stakes live updates, highlights, results

All times Eastern

2:49 p.m.: For those curious to see how Medina Spirit will perform in today’s race:

2:23 p.m.: And winner of Race No. 7 at the Preakness: Mischief Afoot.

2:16 p.m.:Your winner for the 2021 Gallorette Stakes: Mean Mary!

2021 Preakness Stakes post time

Coverage of the 2021 Preakness Stakes will begin at 2 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network. NBC will take over coverage at 5 p.m. ahead of the race’s scheduled post time of 6:50 p.m. ET.

You can also stream the Stakes live with fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.

Preakness Stakes post positions

Below is the full list of starting spots, as well as each horse’s morning line odds of winning the Preakness Stakes.

Post position Horse Odds
1 Ram 30/1
2 Keepmeinmind 15/1
3 Medina Spirit 9/5
4 Crowded Trade 10/1
5 Midnight Bourbon 5/1
6 Rombauer 12/1
7 France Go De Ina 20/1
8 Unbridled Honor 15/1
9 Risk Taking 15/1
10 Concert Tour 5/2

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Ben Wallace to be inducted into 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Class, per report

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Ben Wallace to be inducted into 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Class, per report

The first name of the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame class has been revealed: former Pistons star Ben Wallace.

Marc Spears of The Undefeated first reported the news of Wallace’s impending enshrinement; several other outlets corroborated the report with their own sources. The entire 2021 enshrinement class will be announced on Sunday.

MORE: How to watch Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan’s HOF induction

Wallace attended Cuyahoga Community College (Cleveland, Ohio) from 1992-94 before transferring to Division II program Virginia Union from 1994-96. Despite his prowess at that level — he was a Division II All-American and led the Panthers to the Division II Final Four in 1996 — he went undrafted.

Wallace played for the Bullets/Wizards (1996-99) and Magic (1999-2000) before finding a long-term home with the Pistons. From 2000-06, Wallace averaged 7.9 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 1.6 steals per game with Detroit, winning an NBA championship in 2004. He was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006 and a four-time All-Star from 2003-06.

Other accolades from that time include making at least All-NBA Third Team every year from 2002-06; earning All-Defensive First Team honors from 2002-06; becoming the NBA rebounds leader in consecutive seasons in 2002 and 2003; and becoming the NBA blocks leader in 2002.

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