In what could be a first for the NHL, the Rangers organization took a direct attack on the NHL Player Safety Department and George Parros on Tuesday over the lack of suspension of Capitals forward Tom Wilson. .
“The New York Rangers are extremely disappointed that Capitals forward Tom Wilson was not suspended for his horrific act of violence last night at Madison Square Garden,” the team statement said.
“Wilson is a repeat offender with a long history of this type of act and we find it shocking that the NHL and its player safety department failed to take the appropriate action and are suspending him indefinitely. Wilson’s dangerous and reckless actions have caused an injury to Artemi Panarin that will prevent him from playing again this season.
“We see this as a dereliction of duty on the part of NHL chief safety officer George Parros and we believe he is unfit to continue in his current role.”
MORE: What Happened Monday Night? | Wilson avoids suspension
Wilson hit a defenseless Pavel Buchnevich on Monday while the latter was on the ice. After Ryan Strome came to the aid of his teammates, Panarin also intervened; WIlson pulled the helmet-less Russian’s hair out before slamming him onto the ice and punching him.
For his role, Wilson received a 14-minute penalty (a double minor and a 10-minute foul). Panarin, a 2020 Hart Trophy finalist, did not play the remainder of the game. On Tuesday it was confirmed that he would miss the team’s last three games of the season with a lower body injury. According to the statement, the injury occurred during the incident with Wilson.
Earlier Tuesday, the NHL Player Safety Department announced Wilson had been fined up to $ 5,000 authorized by the CBA for “roughing up” Buchnevich. His interactions with Panarin have remained unscathed. Wilson’s salary is $ 5.16 million, so the sum is just peanuts for him.
“I just think it’s a joke, to be honest with you,” Strome told reporters on Tuesday. “I know it’s not my responsibility to make decisions, but I just can’t believe it. I think that sends the wrong message, in my opinion. I think everyone pretty much agrees with that. And I just think the league missed one here a lot.
RANGERS REACT: Tom Wilson’s punch that started the fight: “ zero respect ”
The Rangers, an Original Six franchise with one of the game’s most powerful owners, called on the league to fire Parros. While this is likely the first time a franchise has targeted him, Parros’ suspensions (or lack thereof) have often been called into question. A former NHL executor, Parros has been responsible for the league’s player safety service since September 2017.
Chances are, the Rangers will receive a hefty NHL fine – more than Wilson paid – for their statement.
Given Wilson’s long history of dirty games and suspensions – three fines and five suspensions that predate Parros’ tenure – his lack of a suspension has shocked many in the hockey world. This includes ex-NHL executor John Scott and former NHL referee Paul Stewart. (Both men posted their thoughts on what happened before the Rangers’ statement).
Scott, who played for several teams including Rangers, was a contemporary of Parros. He called Wilson’s actions “terrible and cruel hockey”.
“What that means is it’s fair play, babe, in any scrum,” he said during the two-minute video. “If you get into a scrum anywhere on the ice and you see a star player, I throw punches, I grab this guy, I twist my ankles, I do whatever I can because the worst thing that will happen to me is a fine of $ 5,000 because I don’t see anyone doing more than what Tom Wilson did at Panarin. Honestly. I feel bad for Panarin. The guy walks in to help his teammate just to calm things down and Wilson jumps onto his back.
“Shame on you NHL you should have done something to protect Panarin and then shame Wilson. You have to know better.
MORE: Tom Wilson’s suspension schedule | Capitals post, delete the tweet praising Wilson
Stewart, an eight-year-old hockey professional and 17-season league official, posted a Twitter thread in which he called the Thornless DoPS. He added that Parros was just a figurehead and that problems really fell at the feet of hockey operations – senior executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell.
Tom Wilson (again) has been a fraudulent “badass” in opportunistically attacking talent / finesse players. He wouldn’t have pulled this shit out if he had to answer a Probert, O’Reilly, Dave Brown, Fotiu, Odjick, Grimson, Twist, Chase, etc. directly for it.
– Paul Stewart (@ PaulStewart22) May 4, 2021
Also, blaming George Parros for DOPS flaws is like blaming Ronald McDonald for the quality of food at McDonald’s. It is a figurehead symbol.
For those who do not know: In the NHL, the referee department and the DOPS are under the tutelage of the director of hockey operations.
– Paul Stewart (@ PaulStewart22) May 4, 2021