An independent arbitrator has reduced Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson’s suspension from 20 to 14 games for his blow to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist.
The hit occurred in the Capitals' final preseason game Sept. 30.
Wilson has already sat out 16 games, which means he is eligible to play immediately. The arbitrator’s decision will save Wilson $378,000 in lost salary.
Commissioner Gary Bettman had upheld Wilson’s 20-game suspension on appeal, but the player has a right to appeal again to an independent judge.
The NHL Players Association has had recent success with appeals to independent arbitrators. Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson had a 27-game suspension for domestic violence against his girlfriend reduced to 18 games.
Wilson’s 20 game-suspension had been the sixth longest in NHL history for an on-ice infraction. Wilson has had four suspensions in the past 14 months.
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