In a normal season, the New York Rangers may not have to see Tom Wilson and the Washington Capitals for a little while after just playing them on Monday night. However, in the pandemic-adjusted NHL schedule, the Rangers will get to see Mr. Wilson again on Wednesday night.
Of course, this is just more than a team trying to win a game. This contest will come off the heels of a second-period melee that earned Wilson four minutes for roughing, a 10-minute misconduct, and sent Artemi Panarin to the dressing room for the rest of the game. It started with Wilson pinning Pavel Buchnevich to the ice with his stick and punching him in the head a couple of times.
The NHL did not do much about this incident, recently releasing a statement saying that Wilson was fined $5000 for the incident. This appears to be the extent of his punishment.
The whole situation did not sit well in Ranger nation, and the fine folks running the Capital’s social media account added fuel to fire by posting this on Twitter:
The Capitals deleted the post after about 30 minutes, telling members of the Washington media that the post did not meet the team’s social media standards.
Even though it could be more of a coach standing up for his player, the Capitals head coach’s comment after the game did not help either.
â€œI thought it was just a scrum, like a physical play,â€ Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. â€œThere was something going on originally with the goalie and theyâ€™re jamming at the goalie and a bunch of players jump in there. It happens a lot.â€
Those who watch a lot of hockey are scratching their heads at this comment.
The New York Rangers have a genuine concern about player safety
Head coach David Quinn had a different take on the situation. “There are lines that canâ€™t be crossed in this game. Thereâ€™s just zero respect for the game in general. You got one of the star players in this league now that could have gotten seriously, seriously hurt in that incident.â€
This statement was not without exaggeration, as veteran Ranger’s beat writer Larry Brooks of the New York Post re-tweeted a slow-motion video of the incident.
Take a look at this and see how close the NHL was to a death on the ice. Ban this guy for the rest of the season and playoffs. Make him reapply for admission next year. https://t.co/sfz6E6r7bL
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) May 4, 2021
Unfortunately, the small fine seems to be the only punishment Wilson will receive for this.
This brings into question, how serious the NHL about the safety of their players, especially as everyone has learned about the serious effects surrounding people who suffer concussions.
Wilson is no stranger to suspensions. Earlier this season, he was suspended seven games for an illegal check to the head of Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo. In his career, Wilson has received a total of 30 games in suspensions and forfeited nearly $1.3 million in salary for his actions.
Despite the video showing what he did to Panarin, the people who run the NHL Department of public safety stated they didn’t find any compelling evidence that Wilson threw Panarin to the ice by pulling on his hair.
So Wednesday night’s game has just added some more intrigue to the contest. There is no truth to the rumor that the Rangers will call Ogie Ogilthorpe out of retirement.