Jeff Gorton addresses Tom Wilson incident and his dismissal from the New York Rangers

new york rangers Wilson
May 3, 2021; New York, New York, USA; 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. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Former New York Rangers general manager, Jeff Gorton was a guest on the Cam and Strick Podcast. In a wide-ranging interview dating back to how he broke into the game with the Boston Bruins, Gorton hit on several key topics from this past season.

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Jeff Gorton on the Tom Wilson incident and his dismissal

Podcast hosts Andy Strickland and former NHL tough guy, Cam Janssen wanted to know just what happened with the Tom Wilson incident. The former Rangers GM told them what he knew, but shockingly isn’t sure if that was the only reason for his dismissal.

“No, I didn’t know it was going to turn into that, it surprised me,” Gorton answered. “Obviously, I lost my job – it probably has to be more than that. I don’t know but it has to be more than that – it can’t be just one thing.”

“You can’t tell me JD who loves toughness didn’t know we weren’t tough,” Gorton revealed. “All the meetings we had with David Quinn talking about getting tougher over time, we also needed some of these young guys who were playing for us to have to deal with adversity – see how they did with it too.”

“Obviously it didn’t go well, and Wilson should’ve been suspended,” he said. “I didn’t think that night was going to be what it turned into – that people were going to lose their jobs.”

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Jeff Gorton and John Davidson at the Draft (Getty Images)

Rangers statement on Wilson and calling for George Parros to step down

After the incident and learning Tom Wilson was only going to be fined $5000 for sucker-punching Pavel Buchnevich, the Rangers released a statement. With Artemi Panarin being out for the remainder of the season and no disciplinary action taken, they called for NHLDoPS head George Parros to step down.

Strickland asked who wrote the statement with Gorton explaining that it came from NY Rangers PR. He also noted that when it was released was the first time he saw it. “Yeah, I think that’s fair to say,” Gorton acknowledging his shock. “You might have seen it the first time I did.”

Gorton was also pressed if there was some other underlying story between Tom Wilson and the Rangers “Other than we play him all the time and he knew we didn’t have anyone to deal with him at the time,” he didn’t think there was more to it. “Wilson can be a bully so he took advantage, but I don’t know if there’s any other story beyond that.”

Other tidbits

The podcast is a great listen as Gorton also touched on the Rangers rebuild and why he and JD weren’t ready to add those toughness pieces just yet. He explained that they first need to get ice time for the young players to develop them since highly drafted prospects are hard to send to the minors these days. Between the players, agents, family, and players it makes doing that difficult.

Gorton also touched on the Tony DeAngelo situation and the Artemi Panarin leave of absence. All and all an excellent an informative podcast you can check out here.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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