On Monday, the ECHL announced that Kalamazoo Wings captain Ben Wilson would be suspended indefinitely and fined an undisclosed amount for his repeated cross checks of Toledo defender Simon Denis. Wilson was assessed a five-minute roughing, a five-minute cross-checking and a game misconduct for his actions which gained nationwide attention.
Here's the video: Kalamazoo's Ben Wilson with 7 Cross Checks to the back of Simon Denis. Wilson was ejected. Will be suspended. pic.twitter.com/UD7mRiIfet— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) April 16, 2017
Denis returned shortly after the mauling, but ended up leaving the game in the second period. Toledo has announced that he would miss Game 3. The rookie defender was officially placed on reserve on Monday with Justin Agosta taking his place on the roster.
According to Mark Monroe at the Toledo Blade, the Walleye immediately filed a grievance with the league on Sunday. Team CEO and President Jim Napoli told the Blade:
“We had a lengthy conversation,” Napoli said. “I expressed how we take the safety of our players very seriously. We’ve gone through the [suspension] process. There have been some extreme cases in the past and I think this fits into that category. I’m very confident they will give this all the attention it deserves.”
As of right now the league has no further comment. In their official statement they did leave open the possibility that they would comment in the future. It is possible that they are waiting to see how long the series between Toledo and Kalamazoo goes before deciding if Wilson will be suspended for any games next season.
It was a long review process, lasting more than 24 hours. Per league rules for supplemental discipline, any investigation has to be initiated before 12:00pm local time the next day.
Wilson, in his first season as captain, has played for the K-Wings since 2013-14. He had 4 goals and 13 assists in 64 games this season, both ECHL career highs. Through two games in the playoffs he had recorded zero points and was a -2.
When reached for comment the Wings organization released the following statement,
“While it is unfortunate to not have the services of Ben Wilson, we understand the league's decision regarding his suspension. In the meantime, our focus is solely on Tuesday's game three against Toledo.”
No corresponding roster announcements have been made yet. Kalamazoo does have Michael Trebish and rookie Michael Zipp on their playoff roster, yet neither player has suited up for the first two games.