The New York Rangers have been fined 50 times more for their response to Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson injuring their star left wing Artemi Panarin than Wilson was for the initial incident.
The National Hockey League announced the Rangers have been fined $250,000 for public comments made Tuesday in response to the league's discipline of Wilson's actions (May 4), according to a press release shared on the league's official website Thursday (May 6.)
“Public comments of the nature issued by the Rangers that were personal in nature and demeaning of a League executive will not be tolerated,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “While we don’t expect our Clubs to agree with every decision rendered by the Department of Player Safety, the extent to which the Rangers expressed their disagreement was unacceptable. It is terribly unfair to question [player safety head] George Parros’ professionalism and dedication to his role and the Department of Player Safety.”
On Tuesday, the Rangers issued an official statement criticizing the NHL for not suspending Wilson and specifically Parros. Wilson was fined $5,000 for the incident involving Panarin -- which ended the left winger's season -- at Madison Square Garden on Monday, which resulted in 16 penalty minutes during the game.
“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," the team said in a statement obtained by NBC Sports. "Wilson is a repeat offender with a long history of these types 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 is a dereliction of duty by NHL head of player safety, George Parros, and believe he is unfit to continue in his current role.”
On Wednesday, the Rangers once again hosted the Capitals at Madison Square Garden, which resulted in a combined 72 penalty minutes in the first 4:14 of the game, including an initial line brawl immediately after the opening faceoff.
"I definitely think we felt the need to take matters into our own hands a bit," Rangers center Ryan Strome said after the game via ESPN. "I thought it was a great response. And hats off to them for answering the bell. They knew our frustration. We solved it and played the rest of the game."
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