New York Rangers superstar Artemi Panarin may miss the rest of the season after a “fight” with Washington Capitals goon,Tom Wilson. Despite David Quinn saying he was “ok” afterwards, early reports indicate Panarin most likely played his last game this season.
Artemi Panarin may miss rest of the season
Let’s get real about what happened in the second period of Monday night’s game at Madison Square Garden. A bar fight broke out in the middle of an NHL scuffle. It was started by the head goon in the league, right-winger Tom Wilson.
It all began when the Blueshirts, on a power-play, crashed the Caps net. Pavel Buchnevich was in the middle of the action, face-down on the ice when Wilson blatantly punched Buchnevich in the back of the head.
The Blueshirts rallied as best they could to defend their player led by Artemi Panarin. The video clearly shows Wilson punching Panarin and dislodging his helmet to the ice. The next move shows how classless Wilson is when he pulled the hair of Panarin and slammed him to the ice. Yet the goon was not done. While Panarin tried to get up he slammed him back down to the ice, causing a cut over his eye.
Wilson received a double minor and a ten-minute misconduct. Panarin did not play another shift in the second period and didn’t return to the bench for the third. He only received 14 MINUTES in penalties. Four officials on the ice and none thought an intent to injure was warranted here? Hello NHL Department of Player Safety – we need an answer here.
To add insult to injury, the Capitals deleted a tweet that seemed to celebrate Wilson’s accomplishments.
Tom Wilson should be suspended
The NHL has talked about getting rid of dangerous head shots and cleaning up the game. Well, let me one of the first to say they failed miserably during the on-ice portion of this fiasco. The referees cannot rely on the NHL to clean up their mess. They are responsible to take charge of the game while it is being played.
Instead, Wilson skated off, attempting to show off his muscles, and knowing the league and the Blueshirts would do nothing about it.
Now is time for the NHL to do its job. Wilson is a repeat offender. The league must look at this specific event and seriously consider how much worse things could have turned out. He could have knocked Panarin out on the ice, he could have caused a more severe head injury, heck he could have killed him if his intentions followed through.
This is not a Rangers writer crying about his elite player getting hurt, that’s part of the game. This is about a player’s total lack of respect for another player, heck an NHLPA union brother. It’s about the intent to injure another that in the real world would constitute assault charges.
To the NHL Player and Safety Department, you are in the spotlight now. If you expect the fans of this sport will accept a small 10 game suspension, think again. If the league wants to remove the goon aspect, as it has been preaching, then this is the opportunity to make your point.
All eyes are on the NHL Tuesday, for all the wrong reasons.
Follow Frank on Twitter @RangerProud
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