When does it end? If you’re living under a rock, today was another banner day for the NHL in dealing with player safety. For a league that claims they care so much for the players, they sure do a lot to counteract that claim.
Yesterday, Capitals forward Tom Wilson was at it again. This time Pavel Buchnevich and Artemi Panarin were victims to his reckless behavior.
After a whistle, and little scrum in the crease, Wilson took a couple of shots to Buchnevich’s head while shoving him to the ice.
That’s not where it stopped either. Artemi Panarin took notice and when he got involved defending his teammate, Wilson responded by pulling him down by his hair slamming him headfirst onto the ice.
Naturally, the Rangers responded after the game. Here’s what coach David Quinn had to say on the incident.
"“We all saw it. There’s lines that can’t be crossed…one of the star players in this league now who could have been seriously seriously hurt in that incident”"
Fans of all teams were rightfully up in arms over the disgraceful actions from Tom Wilson last night. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. According to NHL Player Safety, Wilson was fined $5,000 with no suspension.
This year, Wilson is making $4.1 million so that’s 0.12 % of his salary. For someone making $50,000 a year that would be a penalty of $60.98. That’s embarrassing.
Islanders fans specifically know what it’s like dealing with Tom Wilson. Six years ago, Wilson essentially ended the career of defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.
In Game 4 of their playoff series in 2015, Wilson received a charging minor for this hit on Lubomir Visnovsky. Lubo wouldn’t retain for the remainder of the series and on top of that, he wouldn’t step on the ice in the NHL again.
This isn’t the first example of Wilson going too far and it won’t be the last either. He’s been suspended five times and has been fined on two occasions to go along with those suspensions.
Wilson has 333 penalties (1,052 minutes) of regular season penalties in his career. 20 percent of those have been majors including 16 misconducts and two match penalties. For reference, only three other players have more than 700 penalties since 2013.
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The league has to step in and do something. At this point, they’re just as guilty for enabling him to continue to do this nonsense.