On Tuesday, the New York Rangers surprised everyone when they put out a statement on the NHL’s decision following Monday’s incidents in the game against the Washington Capitals. On Monday night, the chaotic scene that took place between the Capitals and Rangers was not as bad as what happened the next morning which resulted in Capitals’ forward Tom Wilson only getting a $5,000 for punching Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich in the back of the head while he was facedown on the ice, while also throwing star Artemi Panarin to the ice in the ensuing scrum. The Rangers demanded that the NHL fire the head of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety George Parros, who failed to suspend indefinitely a repeat offender like Wilson.
Ken Campbell of the Hockey News predicts that the Rangers will be “fined an enormous amount of money for this.” He however believes that they have gained “the undying respect of many of us in the hockey world that are simply tired of this garbage.”
Campbell isn’t the only one who noted the courage of the Rangers, as they were trending for most of Tuesday night on social media following their statement on Wilson and Parros.
François Gagnon, an insider from RDS in Montreal, called out NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for his lack of actions in this situation, wondering why he did not handle the incidents himself.
After all, we’re talking about a guy who was suspended for seven games in March for a hit that injured Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo. It was the fifth suspension of Wilson’s NHL career, the previous four coming in a 105-game span from 2017-18, which included a 20-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Oskar Sundqvist of the St. Louis Blues back on Oct. 3, 2018, which was reduced to 14 games on an NHLPA appeal. Gagnon would love to see the NHL bring in Wilson to suspend him, however, Bettman missed a huge opportunity to get things straight in his league.
And now, he may get even more bad criticism if he indeed makes the Rangers pay a hefty fine for only refusing “to bow to a league that failed miserably to protect one of its players.”