There was a firestorm of controversy this week in the National Hockey League following an incident involving controversial Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson and New York Rangers star forward Artemi Panarin. Fans from all across the hockey world made their feelings known on social media and although opinions on the topic were wide ranging, as per usual the outrage took center stage with many fans calling for Wilson to be severely punished by the league.
That of course did not happen when it was all said and done and although that would appear to go against the popular sentiment on social media, not everyone is of the same mind. NHL insider Scott Powers recently spoke to several National Hockey League experts on the subject and asked them to share their thoughts and, although once again not everyone was of the same mind, the sentiment appeared to largely be that angry fans had blown this incident way out of proportion.
"I didn’t think it was as bad as everyone said it was," said a former player who is now an NHL executive as per The Athletic.
That opinion was echoed by another former player who also seemed to think that things were blown out of proportion, although in this case he used much stronger language when it came to describing the outrage on social media.
"You would swear that we had World War V," said the former player." It’s one of those ‘blink of an eye’ things. And I saw all kinds of bullshit things (on social media)."
Now of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion but when people directly involved in the game are coming to the defense of Wilson is does carry significantly more weight than the opinion of your average fan, at least in my eyes. Even more telling however were the comments from an NHL coach who made it quite clear that every team in the league would jump at the chance to have Wilson on their team given the opportunity. Every team including the New York Rangers whose owner James Dolan earned a hefty fine for his comments about the incident.
"You know if you put him up for free agency every team would want him," said the coach. "The Rangers would offer him a boat-full of money to come to New York."
These comments would certainly seem to go against the prevailing opinion on social media, and I'm curious to hear how many of our readers agree or disagree with them.