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#pounditSaturday, May 15, 2021

Rangers want NHL player safety head fired over lack of Tom Wilson punishment

Tom Wilson Pavel Buchnevich

The New York Rangers are so furious over the lack of punishment for Washington Capitals enforcer Tom Wilson, they’re calling for someone to lose their job over it.

During Monday night’s game, Wilson punched New York’s Pavel Buchnevich after the whistle had blown. The real flashpoint, however, was Wilson’s body slam of Artemi Panarin, an incident that had the Rangers seething after the game. The anger only grew on Tuesday, when the team announced that Panarin would miss the final three games of the season with a lower-body injury stemming from the incident.

The Rangers doubtlessly expected Wilson to be suspended for his actions, but on Tuesday, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced that the only discipline he would face was a $5,000 fine for his actions against Buchnevich. The fine is the maximum amount allowed under the league’s current CBA.

In a very unusual move, the Rangers issued a statement taking the league to task for not suspending Wilson, citing the enforcer’s “horrifying act of violence” and status as a repeat offender. The team went even further, calling NHL head of player safety George Parros “unfit to continue in his current role.”

It’s not often that you’ll see a team so openly rip the league for discipline, or a lack thereof. Given Wilson’s extensive history, there are probably some other organizations silently nodding along with this statement as well. It will be intriguing to see if the NHL opts to publicly respond to the Rangers’ statement, as there isn’t a lot of precedent for this scenario. Another major concern for the league will be the fact that the two teams are scheduled to play again Wednesday night, and the Rangers could certainly try to take matters into their own hands if they’re this dissatisfied with the NHL’s response.


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