Steve Valiquette calls Rangers nemesis ‘idiot’ during playoff broadcast

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Washington Capitals
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Valiquette’s disgust for Tom Wilson was on full display during the MSG broadcast of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals on Sunday.

During the first intermission, Valiquette called the Rangers nemesis an “idiot” when discussing a roughing penalty Wilson was assessed in the final seconds of the first period.

“The thing about him, right, he’s an idiot,” the former Rangers goalie and current television analyst said.

Wilson was penalized after he grabbed Adam Fox when the Rangers defenseman was on his way to celebrate Vincent Trocheck’s power-play goal at 19:45 of the first period with his teammates behind the Capitals net. The rugged forward roughed up Fox, who lost his helmet in the scrum before Chris Kreider came to his defense.

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Tom Wilson adds to long history as Rangers nemesis

new york rangers 2021
Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Why Wilson was so angry at Fox is up for debate. It could be that he believed Fox embellished a tripping penalty against Washington defenseman Nick Jensen, which was a knee-on-knee hit.

Fox stayed down on the ice and appeared to be in signifcent pain. He was able to get up on his own, skate around and wanted to stay on the ice for the start of the power play. However, he was ushered to the Rangers bench.

Fox ended up back on the ice and started the passing sequence that ended up with Trocheck’s goal that gave New York a 2-1 lead.

The Capitals killed off Wilson’s minor penalty that carried into the second period.

On air, Valiquette further explained his “idiot” comment, after admitting “you like to have those guys on your team.”

“You know the way he’s going to behave, it’s not the way he should behave,” Valiquette explained. “You don’t grab a guy, Fox, when he’s going on his way to celebrate with his teammates, you wait for the next scrum to get in there and mix it up.”

Valiquette also referenced the infamous 2021 incident when Wilson “ragdolled” Rangers star Artemi Panarin during a wild brawl at Madison Square Garden. Since then, Wilson has been among the most hated opponents at MSG.

This incident, though less severe, won’t endear him to the Rangers — nor their broadcasters, obviously.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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