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Tom Wilson Turned Down Fight In Return For Capitals; Here’s Why

Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson was throwing his weight around in his return, but refused to drop the gloves in his season debut. He shares why.



WASHINGTON — Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson was ready to bring the "boom" and do what he could to help his team in his long-awaited season debut on Sunday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but there was one thing he wouldn't do: drop the gloves.

In his first game since ACL surgery in the offseason, Wilson led the team with six hits in a 1-0 win on Sunday and showcased his classic physicality. And in the second period, No. 43 delivered a big hit on Liam Foudy, which left Wilson having to answer to Mathieu Olivier.

Olivier gave Wilson, who fell over after the hit, a check, and as the two got to their feet, kept pushing and shoving No. 43 while trying to get him to a fight. Wilson said "no thanks."

"He's a tough player. Plays honest, plays hard," Wilson said of Olivier, adding with a laugh, "I think he wanted to fight and just said, 'Hey, give me a game to get my body back into it here."

There was no call on the play, and nothing further came out of that altercation. The 28-year-old, who has built quite a reputation for his hard-hitting style and willingness to fight, said that he not only turned it down because he wanted to continue getting back up to speed, but he also didn't feel the need to fight at that moment with his team leading by one with roughly 12 minutes remaining in the second period.

"Those are the great part of hockey and why you play the game and the passion and the competitive nature, it's fun going up against those guys," Wilson said. "But I had to politefully decide at that point in the game."

Wilson ultimately finished with 14:10 minutes of ice time and also registered a shot on goal while operating on the second line and getting time on the power play.

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