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Rangers call senior vice president of NHL player safety ‘unfit’ to play role after Tom Wilson fined

Rangers call senior vice president of NHL player safety ‘unfit’ to play role after Tom Wilson fined

Washington’s Tom Wilson was fined but not suspended for his actions in a post-whistle scrimmage in New York City, a result which the Capitals are ready to pass and the Rangers believe is not a punishment enough for one of hockey’s most polarizing players.

The NHL fined Wilson US $ 5,000 on Tuesday for abusing Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich in the second period of a game Monday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The fine is the maximum allowed for the incident under the collective agreement, and Wilson was not penalized for throwing Artemi Panarin on the ice moments later.

“I just think it’s a joke, to be honest with you,” New York’s Ryan Strome said. “I know it’s not my responsibility to make decisions, but I 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 bigtime. “

The team’s statement was even stronger, calling Wilson’s behavior a “horrific act of violence” and targeting senior vice president of NHL player safety George Parros for his inaction.

“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,” said the Rangers.

“Wilson’s dangerous and reckless actions resulted in an injury to Artemi Panarin which 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. “

Wilson received a double minor penalty for brutality and a 10-minute misconduct. The fine is 0.12% of Wilson’s $ 4.1 million salary for this season.

“This is the discipline that is being sent from the league, and Tom is going to pay it off and we’ll move on,” said Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette, who after the game called it a physical game that ” happens often “.

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“It looked like they were blocking the goalie and Tom punched him in the top of the shoulder and then punched him somewhere in the back as he tried to get in there and withdraw it and received the brutal penalty, ”added Laviolette. “After that he blew a few guys on the back and there was a big scrum that continued and followed.”

Panarin was ruled out from the rest of the game with what the team called a lower body injury. Head coach David Quinn has said Panarin will miss Rangers’ last three games of the season and confirmed the injury was from the incident with Wilson, which will not cause the 27-year-old to miss the Capitals forward. years.

“To me, anyone in hockey – certainly everyone in our organization – is very disappointed,” Quinn said. “We certainly thought that warranted a suspension. We’re just really disappointed. A line was crossed: Guy didn’t have his helmet, vulnerable, he got injured. For me, it was a huge deal to suspend him. “

Rangers forward Mike Zibanejad added: “I think you should have a little more respect for the game and for the players. I don’t really know where to start. It’s just awful. Zero respect. I don’t really know where to start. not know why I’m surprised., but yeah, just awful. “

‘Helpless stance’

This is Wilson’s third fine in eight NHL seasons and he has been suspended five times. The most recent suspension was seven games in March to pick up Brandon Carlo from Boston.

By suspending him for the shot on Carlo, the league’s player safety department called Wilson “a player with a substantial disciplinary record taking advantage of an opponent who is in a defenseless position and doing so with significant force.” ” The same department felt Wilson’s actions against the Rangers did not deserve a suspension.

“He’s tall, he’s strong and when he gets into a melee and he struggles, [I told him]”You have to be careful” because, I think with the attention on him, he’s looked at a certain way, “Laviolette said.” He has to play his game, he has to be hard to play against, he has to be physical, but in the same sense, he must know that his eyes are on him too. “

Wilson had a clean record for the past two-and-a-half years, dating from a 20-game suspension in the fall of 2018 for an illegal failure at the head of St. Louis forward Oskar Sundqvist. This initially resulted in a fine of $ 1.26 million, and it was reduced to 14 games by an independent referee after appeal, although Wilson has already served 17 games.

The Capitals and Rangers replay Wednesday night. Quinn did not commit to calling an executor for the game, but said he knew how his team would react.

“As players you want the league to support you in these situations, and I think a lot of the guys in our locker room feel like they didn’t,” Strome said. “It’s a game that is unrelated to hockey. And he’s a big, strong guy. I’m sure he would answer the bell, but I just think in a situation that is unrelated in the game, I think that’s the league’s responsibility – not necessarily the guys watching the ice on the ice. “

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