Tom Wilson can finally move out of the Residence Inn and find a place to call home this season.
The Capitals’ 19-year-old rookie right wing was told today that he will remain with the Capitals and will not return to the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League.
Wilson has seen limited ice time on the Capitals’ fourth line this season and said he wasn’t sure what to expect when Caps coach Adam Oates and general manager George McPhee called him into Oates’ office after Friday’s practice.
“I really could have gone one of two ways,” Wilson said. “It was good news for me for sure. When George joined in, ‘I thought, ‘Uh-oh. This is not good.’ Fortunately, for me it was good news that they’re going to keep me around every day, but I never want to get too comfortable. I’m still proving myself for sure.”
Oates said the decision was a mutual one between he and McPhee.
“We like his progression,” Oates said. “It’s a tough decision. We’ve talked about it a lot of times, that we don’t want to hold him back. But you know what? He hasn’t acted like a 19-year-old. He acts like he belongs.”
Oates said his biggest concern with Wilson returning to junior was developing bad habits in the 20 to 25 minutes he would receive every night.
“We don’t have the perfect formula,” Oates said. “We want him. His teammates love him and hopefully he’ll continue to grow.”
As for living arrangements, the Capitals are looking into providing Wilson with a billet family.
“The rest, the food, the nutrition,” Oates said. “If a guy’s single maybe he has nothing in his fridge. We come home from a road trip and there’s a bottle of water and butter.”
When it was suggested that maybe Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin would take Wilson in as a house guest, Wilson chuckled.
“That’s a very big house,” he said. “I’m sure he has a few extra bedrooms.”