Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Big Hitter

from Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet,

One of the NHL's most polarizing players, Tom Wilson is working to clean up his game without sacrificing its physical edge — and laying out the blueprint for the league's new breed of power forward in the process

The question that set Wilson nodding was about whether his play has always elicited an impassioned reaction from opposing fans and players. Yes, it sure has, and the 25-year-old doesn’t recall a time when it didn’t. “I remember pretty vividly a dad coming over the glass and being like, ‘Wilson, you suck!’” he says. His own dad, Keven, was one of his team’s coaches back then, and to avoid targeted heckling from irate parents for the rest of that season, they took the kids’ nameplates off the backs of their jerseys. Wilson was eight years old.

He received his first pre-game threat at nine or 10. “’My son’s going to take care of you on the ice, and I’m going to go take care of your dad in the stands!’” Wilson says. His voice gets a little deeper imitating the angry dad. “Stuff like that, you wouldn’t believe,” he says. “I learned to deal with it at a very young age.”

The reaction has only spread and intensified as Wilson has grown up and played under an increasingly bright spotlight. Now seven years into his NHL career, there isn’t a player in the league quite as polarizing as the Toronto-born power forward, and maybe that’s because there aren’t many players in the NHL quite like him — full stop.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+wilson

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com