NHL Dept of Player Safety Shows How Clueless They Still Are

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 03: Tom Wilson #43 of the Washington Capitals takes a roughing penalty during the second period against Artemi Panarin #10 of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on May 03, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

If you watched the Rangers-Capitals tilt on Monday night from MSG you saw Tom Wilson be Tom Wilson yet again.

In a post whistle scrum, which happens all the time in the game, Wilson decided to take his antics to next level. Wilson brought Buchnevich down to the ice and proceeded to crosscheck Buchnevich in the back of the head and then sucker punched Buchnevich while he was face down on the ice unable to defend himself, which somehow some NHL media types have defended. All of this happening while Wes McCauly stared on just watching Wilson go after Buchnevich and not looking to separate them, which is just as bad as Wilson to be fair.

Instead of standing by and continue to let his teammate be beaten down, Artemi Panarin jumped in to pull Wilson off and Wilson reacted by then yanking Panarin by the hair and throwing him to the ice. I could understand if the situation stopped there but Wilson then doubled down and decided to smash Panarin face first into the ice without a helmet.

How does the NHL react to all this you ask yourself? Well naturally the Department of Players Safety decided a $5,000 fine is adequate.

Are we joking? Where’s the line for cross checking a defenseless player face first into the ice? Or deciding to slam a players head into the ice without a helmet all while pulling his hair? Is this the same league that says it takes concussions seriously? Give me a break.

As we all know this isn’t the first time Tom Wilson has seen the line and then decided to run right over it. Tom Wilson is a habitual line stepper. For Caps fans defending Wilson, this incident is exactly the reason why Wilson has the reputation he has. I have no issue with post whistle scrums because that’s part of hockey and will always be part of hockey. However slamming a defenseless player in the back of the head is a line that never should be crossed and it’s an action that should NEVER be defended.

For those defending Wilson for what he did with Panarin, here’s what I’ll say. Yes, Wilson has the right to defend himself against a player coming at his back but Wilson again went way beyond the line with pulling him by the hair, which they don’t even allow in WWE, and slamming his head into the ice. Wilson could’ve bear hugged Panarin and held him against the boards and that would’ve defused the entire situation.

The most egregious thing to me from this whole thing apart from DoPS still being clueless, is how some NHL journalists wrote this off to “thats hockey”. What we saw last night isn’t hockey, hell, it’s not even MMA. If you’re one of those “triggered” by what you saw then at least you’re an intelligent hockey fan and not some moron with a sub average podcast because you at least see that this kind of garbage should never be in the game which is more than I can say for some at ESPN.

That is the class of ESPN hockey reporting right now folks…

I would just love for the DoPS to come out and clarify what the hell the line is for suspensions. Is it Tom Wilson becoming Todd Bertuzzi 2.0 and ending a players career? Just let us know where the hell the line is because if this isn’t it then just let players and fans alike know you really don’t give a damn about players health and safety. While I know the below is simply Emily Kaplan relaying a message from DoPS, its shocking for George Parros and Co to think the Panarin play is an every game occurrence. The NHL, NHLPA and George Parros have turned player safety into more of a joke than it ever was.

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