Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson was suspended seven games for his hit on Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo, the league announced Saturday.
Pending an appeal, Wilson will not play for the Capitals on Sunday night when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers.
"While there are aspects of this hit that may skirt the line between suspendable and not suspendable, it is the totality of the circumstances that cause this play to merit supplemental discipline," the NHL Department of Player Safety said in an explainer video. "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."
Wilson will forfeit $311,781.61.
The incident occurred Friday night with about 90 seconds left in the first period of Boston's 5-1 home win. Carlo was fighting for the puck in a corner when Wilson skated toward him and lifted his right elbow, hitting Carlo in the head. Carlo's head smashed into the glass, and he fell to the ice and remained there, eventually skating off under his own power.
Wilson wasn't penalized on the play, but Carlo was taken to the hospital by ambulance. He was released Saturday morning.
After the game, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said he didn't know whether Carlo had sustained a concussion, but he had plenty else to say.
"It's a fast game, they play hard, we play hard," Cassidy said. "But you could see it. He hit him clearly in the head ... defenseless player, predatory hit from a player that's done that before. I don't understand why there wasn't a penalty called on the ice. They huddled up, but I did not get an explanation why. It's out of our hands after that."
Wilson, 26, is one of the most penalized players in the NHL. With 1,052 penalty minutes in his eight-year career, Wilson is 10th on the list for penalty minutes among active players.
Each of the players on the list ahead of him have been in the league at least five years longer than Wilson.
--Field Level Media