The Rangers have released the following statement after Tom Wilson was only fined and not suspended after last night:
The New York Rangers are extremely disappointed that Capitals forward Tom Wilson was not suspended for his horrifying act of violence last night at Madison Square Garden. Wilson is a repeat offender with a long history of these type of acts and we find it shocking that the NHL and their Department of Player Safety failed to take the appropriate action and suspend him indefinitely. Wilson’s dangerous and reckless actions caused an injury to Artemi Panarin that will prevent him from playing again this season. We view this as a dereliction of duty by NHL Head of Player Safety, George Parros, and believe he is unfit to continue in his current role.
Parros has been part of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety since 2016 and was promoted to Head of Player Safety in 2017.
EJ Hradek said on NHL Now earlier today that he spoke with George Parros and that while Parros didn’t “like” what Wilson did to Panarin. “they weren’t sure what they could suspend him for in that particular situation.”
Wilson was fined $5,000 for punching Pavel Buchnevich, not for his incident with Artemi Panarin.
David Quinn said today that “a line was crossed” and that the organization believed Wilson should have been suspended.
Adam Rotter: Wow, this is quite a statement by John Davidson, Jeff Gorton and ultimately James Dolan. This type of thing doesn’t happen without James Dolan signing off and it will be interesting to see what comes of this. Ironically, the Rangers are likely to be fined for this statement and for an amount far more than $5,000.
I think that the Rangers have said out loud what a lot of teams say in private about the Department of Player Safety. I’m sure there will be ramifications that come from releasing this statement, but the Rangers did/said what they felt needed to be done/said.
This isn’t the last time, it may not even be the last time this week, where the NHL’s Department of Player Safety becomes a topic and there are always incidents in the playoffs. Maybe this will lead to change in the offseason….but probably not.