Notorious hockey brawler Tom Wilson has been accused of a "horrifying act of violence" by the New York Rangers after hitting Pavel Buchnevich to the back of the neck and body-slamming Artemi Panarin, ending the winger's season. </p><div><p>Arch tough man Wilson was playing for the Washington Capitals when he landed a sickening cheap shot on Buchnevich before throwing Panarin to the ice as he tried to defend his teammate, leaving Panarin with a lower body injury that will keep him out for the rest of the campaign.
Wilson received two minor penalties and a 10-minute misconduct punishment, although he was not ejected from the Capitals’ 6-3 win at Madison Square Garden, while Panarin, who did not finish the game, earned a minor penalty alongside countryman Buchnevich.
The league fined Wilson a measly $5,000 – the maximum possible amount – but did not add any further suspension or additional disciplinary measures despite the gruesome brawl, leading the Rangers to issue a statement accusing NHL Head of Player Safety George Parros of a “dereliction of duty” that made him “unfit to continue in his current role”.
“We are extremely disappointed that [Wilson] was not suspended for his horrifying act of violence last night,” the statement said, lambasting the player who was banned for 14 matches in 2018 for a previous attack on an opponent’s head.
“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.”
Wilson earns well over $5 million a season. “As players, you want the league to have your back in those situations,” said Rangers forward Ryan Strome, who was involved in the tussle. “I think a lot of guys in our dressing room just feel like they didn’t.
Some people are trying to defens Wilson on this. “No big deal-you’re overreacting” they’re saying. He knocked the guy;s helmet offm grabbed him by the hair and smashed his head and face to the ice. What more do you have to see? He’s GOTTA go!
— The Examiner (@PresqueIslePete) May 4, 2021
“I just think it’s a joke, to be honest with you. I know it’s not my responsibility to make decisions, but I just can’t believe that.
“I think it sends a bad message, in my opinion. I think everyone pretty much agrees with that. I just think that the league missed one here big time.
“Our best player is out for the rest of the year. It’s just an unfortunate incident that had nothing to do with the play or the game of hockey. I think that’s kind of where the big issue is.”
John, The league needs to do a much better job of protecting its star players. Tom Wilson basically mugged Panarin and Buchnevich. He’s only paying couch cushion change for what he did. No suspension makes no sense. Thanks for speaking out about it.
— Benjamin Lippel (@thewriteben) May 4, 2021
Ex-Rangers powerhouse John Scott was so angered by the incident that he filmed a personal video attcking the league.
“What on Earth is happening with the NHL right now?” he asked. “George Parros completely dropped the ball, he dropped his drawers, he dropped everything.
“It was a joke of a fine. I love this kind of hockey – I think we all do – but what Tom did, there’s no excuse for that. It’s insane to me that he only got a $5,000 fine.
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“Shame on you, NHL, you should have [done] something to protect Panarin. And shame on Wilson – you ought to know better.”
Wilson was suspended for seven games this season after hospitalizing the Boston Bruins’ Brandon Carlo.
“What this means is that it’s fair game, baby, in any scrum,” warned Scott. “If you go into a scrum anywhere on the ice and you see a star player, I’m throwing sucker punches, I’m grabbing this guy, I’m twisting ankles, I’m doing whatever I can.
“The worst thing that’s going to happen to me is a $5,000 fine because I don’t see anyone doing more than what Tom Wilson did to Panarin.”
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