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A Statement From The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, May 4, 2021 – 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.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

ilovehomers's avatar

Good on them

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/04/21 at 07:17 PM ET

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Blunter, stronger, and more specific language than you usually see.

Parros needs to go, even if he is partly just the current former-enforcer
stooge occupying that seat.

The refs and linesmen were also terrible throughout those muggings.

I’m not a big fan of John Scott. He was a bully against not just smaller opponents (who wasn’t?) but also some guys outside his role. He threw some bad hits.
But he called out Wilson and Parros pretty directly and made the cogent point that the lesson someone like him would draw would be “I’m going after the opponent’s star players anytime there is a scrum - hey, it’s only $5,000, right?”

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/04/21 at 07:37 PM ET

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https://twitter.com/IslesWhiteSUV/status/1389380559391105032?s=20

Very interesting video reminder.

NHL linesmen swarm to prevent Tom Wilson from having to
fight Ross Johnston. Don’t think I’ve ever seen officials react this way
when Wilson has gone after somebody.

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/04/21 at 08:04 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

And the rangers should be fined for this, similar to when a coach complains about the refs.

Fine and suspend everyone!

Posted by TreKronor on 05/04/21 at 08:28 PM ET

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Am I the only one who thinks this is mild compared to any pre-2010 hockey?  Wilson is a nun compared to Probert.  It’s hockey- not soccer.  The NYR should quit crying and police the game from the ice.

Posted by SevensForTed on 05/04/21 at 08:44 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

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.

Preach.  The most ironically named position in all of sports.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 05/04/21 at 08:51 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Am I the only one who thinks this is mild compared to any pre-2010 hockey? 

Nope. It’s gotten much softer the last ten years as the enforcer role has been reduced. Which makes things like this rarer and look worse than it would have a decade plus ago.

This whole open letter thing the rangers did… I’d be embarrassed if my team did this. Cancel culture, public shaming, whatever other hip terms are being used now - I’ve had more than enough of it.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/04/21 at 09:17 PM ET

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I’m a reluctant realist when it comes to the DoBS, Ted,
and am delighted Givani can fight as well as play.
But I’d also keep McIlrath up at least part time as a seventh D
and dress him periodically over someone like Biega (no offense, Biega hustles way above his skill level).

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/04/21 at 09:21 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,

It certainly sends a message. It tells you, above all, that the league looks at Wilson and it sees something it can’t help but love. It sees visions of its more raucous past — a time when a more plentiful roll call of apex predators like Wilson made the game more violent, mostly because science and society hadn’t been sufficiently clued into to the human-wrecking toll of head injuries. If the brain health of players is better for it, the NHL clearly doesn’t want to wholly remove the lure of such blood lust from its midst. As Colin Campbell, the longtime NHL executive, has said more than once of the league: “We sell hate.”

Problem is, even as the league office clings to rock ’em, sock ’em nostalgia — and contrary to the Rangers’ calls for Parros’s head, it’s a nostalgia that exists far above the pay grade of the head of player safety — the players who populate its dressing rooms have evolved. A good majority of today’s NHLers grew up without throwing so much as a punch; they’re drafted for their skill sets, not as killers. On a lot of nights now, the NHL looks a bit like basketball on ice: a high-speed, high-level contact sport, sure, but not as much of a collision game as some traditionalists would like. The big hits that used to sell Don Cherry VHS tapes by the truckload, the bench-clearing brawls, the staged fights of a more recent vintage, are mostly extinct now, rightful casualties of a more enlightened age. And gone with the hijinks, on most nights, is the hate.

Which is at least part of the reason why there isn’t an NHL general manager at work who wouldn’t love to have Wilson on the team. It’s not just that he’s a six-foot-four, 220-pound hulk who happens to be a highly effective hockey player, currently on a career-high points pace, scoring at a rate that would translate to 24 goals and 63 points over 82 games. It’s that, in a sport in which physical intimidation can still be a factor, he’s a rare and willing villain, the kind most teams simply don’t employ because the supply doesn’t exist. Quinn was asked Tuesday about the prospect of the Rangers icing an enforcer type who might exact some old-style vigilante justice on behalf of Panarin and Buchnevich.

more

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/04/21 at 09:28 PM ET

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I’m with you on the last paragraph, Tre.

But saw the statement more as the Rangers making as clear a statement as they could - without Bettman fining the front office half their salaries for making him look bad. Parros is an incompetent clown who is in the tank, not for toughness or honest fighters, but for nutcases like Wilson. It’s an overdue firing on the merits, not based on someone failing to use jargon some pseudo-academic made up last week.

And I hope the Rangers both call up their best fighter in Hartford and treat Wilson with as little respect as he deserves. I also don’t think this ends this season.
I’m sure current tough guys on other teams have taken note and won’t have much concern for his safety next season.

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/04/21 at 09:31 PM ET

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The cynic in me thinks the league loves this because Wilson is
the perfect goon everyone loves to hate and it will attract lots of attention to tomorrow’s game and the league in general.

They won’t be liking it if and when Wilson does paralyze someone.
But right up to that line they probably consider it profitable fan engagement

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/04/21 at 09:38 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Am I the only one who thinks this is mild compared to any pre-2010 hockey?  Wilson is a nun compared to Probert.  It’s hockey- not soccer.  The NYR should quit crying and police the game from the ice.
Posted by SevensForTed on 05/04/21 at 08:44 PM ET

I with you, I’m not going gasp and clutch my pearls at this Wilson incident when I’ve been enjoying hockey for more than 5 years.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/04/21 at 09:17 PM ET

Agree with you as well Tre, for the Rangers to pen a whiny letter, come on.

From start to finish, the only thing I saw that was egregious was Wilson taking a 1/2 glove on swing at a player on the ground after he crashed into his goalie. That started it off, it was wrong, nobody should swing at someone, glove on or off, while on the ice and not expecting it.

The rest of this was a hockey scrum, that too many are reliving in slow motion HD TV, 100x over and over dissecting each second of something that lasted 20 seconds in a scrum with professional athletes. Everyone’s brain is telling them to see the worst of intensions because its Wilson, like trying to drive his head through the ice 2x, or seen another way, Wilson beyatch tossing Perrirn down the first time which is where the helmet comes off, and then could’ve unloaded on him, gloves on or off, he didn’t, and then when Perrin tried to get back up he shoved him down again like your little brother.

Wilson can be a dirty player, on this play, he was dirty, no excuse for a glove on punch, but suspension worthy, nope, I agree with the NHL here.

BTW, the player’s history only comes into question when they consider the length of the suspension, not the act itself.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/04/21 at 10:16 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

Don’t think I’ve ever seen officials react this way
when Wilson has gone after somebody.

I have. Its pretty standard for them to immediately break up any fights that seem to be one sided. Wilson wasn’t throwing back so they stopped it.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 05/04/21 at 11:01 PM ET

Paul's avatar

i’d love to fade away on this topic but I have a feeling more is coming.

The NHL needs to make a full explanation, with video would be more helpful.

Pierre LeBrun and Mike Johnson of TSN talk with host Genp Reda.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/04/21 at 11:20 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

....Wilson is a nun compared to Probert…

Bob once head-butted Bob Mcgill, and once punched goalie Vincent Riendeau in the head, so Bob was no Angel. However, I vividly remember numerous occasions when toward the end of a fight, Bob would end up on top of a guy down on the ice and have a chance to hit the guy….and didn’t. I believe this is a part of what is sometimes called “The Code”.

Tom Wilson twice hit guys, defenseless, down on the ice, on the same scrum.

Finally, to somehow relinquish Wilson from any responsibility or punishment by comparing the style of play now to the 80/90’s era, is a disingenuous argument. Like, hey I only slashed the guy on the back of the leg, Chris Printer drove the guys head into the glass, why am I being judged so harshly….Not a very compelling argument.

Wilson can play the game, but he is a dirty player and one day he will run into a quicker gunfighter, and it will make me smile just a little…

confused

Posted by Down River Dan on 05/05/21 at 02:46 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Chris Printer = Chris Pronger

Posted by Down River Dan on 05/05/21 at 02:53 AM ET

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Posted by Down River Dan on 05/05/21 at 02:46 AM ET

Good points Dan. And to add to that, i’d describe what wilson did to panarin as basically a slew foot. He had him up high and took him down head first. If you guys think a slew foot in a scrum is no big deal then that’s fine. Personally I think that’s trash and has no place in the game. Be a tough guy and hit hard, fight if you have to, but when you start punching prone guys in the back of the head and pulling people down with the intention to cause damage then you can gtfo. It is softer than the 80’s and the 90’s, but I thought we agreed that CTE was a real thing and it wasn’t good for players to have to hang em up early because of stuff like that. Ask Brandon Carlo how he feels about “old time hockey” oh wait he’s still on the IR in concussion protocol because of a cheap Tom WIlson hit.

Disagree with the Rangers putting that out there as well. They play again tonight, if the NHL doesn’t want to police the players have someone with nothing to lose come up and take care of it. It would be bad for the player and a black eye for the sport but that’s what happens when you have Tom Wilson running amuck.

Posted by MZ2215 on 05/05/21 at 07:25 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

However, I vividly remember numerous occasions when toward the end of a fight, Bob would end up on top of a guy down on the ice and have a chance to hit the guy….and didn’t.
Posted by Down River Dan on 05/05/21 at 02:46 AM ET

Like when Wilson never dropped his gloves and swung on Panarin? Or maybe a better match is when he first tossed Panarin down, was on top of him and could’ve put him to bed, but let up instead, Panarin wiggled up, so he pushed him down like an annoying step brother again, like that?

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/05/21 at 08:59 AM ET

Rumbear's avatar

It’s hockey- not soccer.

Best damn line of the thread.

Did any cheese com with this NY whine?

Cheers!

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, sing along The YzerMan Can!...... on 05/05/21 at 10:00 AM ET

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I honestly don’t believe this is the near the worst from Wilson and I’ve certainly seen worse from others this year. But what is most disturbing is that Wilson continues to push the line and essentially get off with a minor fine.

We can have physical play in hockey without this garbage.

The real questions is why don’t the players care more about this issue. It’s their career that is on the line but they have always been reluctant to hold these types of players fully accountable. It’s the CBA that sets the limits of fines/suspensions.

Posted by evileye on 05/05/21 at 11:38 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I’m an arsehole but at this point I’m hoping for a blood bath March 26th, 1997 style.

Posted by mrfluffy from the phone, calling Detroit, telling them it's on 05/05/21 at 01:00 PM ET

Paul's avatar

mrf…

I will have an open post up tonight for all the games tonight.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/05/21 at 01:26 PM ET

Thag's avatar

So, Panarin is different from other hockey players because he is special? Because he is tiny? He should have skated to the bench if he didn’t want to risk being part of a post-goal melee. Jumping on Tom’s back and trying to hit him wasn’t the best decision.

I agree that the second Panarin throw-down was a bit much, and the nonsense in the box that got him 10 minutes was dumb. But to be outraged because of who it was that Tom Wilson decided to pull off his back and throw down is ridiculous. There are no “special” rules for “elite” players - just for Tom Wilson, apparently.

The Caps should be force-feeding him pucks tonight. Hopefully he gets a hat trick or more.

Posted by Thag from DC on 05/05/21 at 02:34 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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