Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson heard the “boos” at the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend. But rather than being upset, he embraced the fans’ passion.
No. 43 reflected on the crowd at T-Mobile Arena, which openly expressed its disappointment with Wilson, and said that he enjoyed the energy.
“I think it’s good, I think it’s good for the game,” Wilson told reporters after the game. “I think it’s passion, I love playing here. It’s one of the best rinks in the league and obviously a pretty passionate fanbase.”
Wilson has a reputation and history of controversy in the league due to his hard-hitting style. He has also been accused of targeting players and making dirty plays. However, despite suspensions in the past, he hasn’t run into trouble with the NHL Department of Player Safety this season. He has also been a thorn in the Golden Knights’ side since winning the Stanley Cup in Vegas back in 2018.
The 27-year-old made his first NHL All-Star appearance after replacing captain Alex Ovechkin, who tested positive for COVID-19. Wilson has been having a great season with 13 goals and 31 points through 41 games. He is on pace for a career-high 56 points in 2021-22.
Wilson made the most of his time out west, hitting the century mark in the hardest shot at the 2022 NHL All-Star Skills Competition and even making All-Star Game history. He opened the scoring in the 3-on-3 tournament in just 13 seconds in, breaking Sidney Crosby’s record of 15 seconds set back in 2019. Evgeny Kuznetsov assisted on the strike.
The Metropolitan Division ultimately won the All-Star Game with wins over the Pacific and Central Divisions. Claude Giroux won MVP.
Ultimately, Wilson said he had a good time at his first All-Star Weekend, and said that the boos also put a smile on his fellow All-Stars’ faces.
“I think it’s all in good fun. I had a great experience being here. the guys seemed to get a chuckle out of it,” Wilson added.
“It’s okay, that’s how they love him, right?” Kuznetsov said during the broadcast of his teammate.