Tom Wilson and Alex Ovechkin called Artemi Panarin after body slam

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May 5, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Artemi Panarin #10 of the New York Rangers leaves the ice following the last home game of the season against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Artemi Panarin was trying to help a teammate. The Rangers star forward and Lady Byng candidate witnessed a much larger player in Tom Wilson sucker punch countryman, Pavel Buchnevich. He then saw his center, Ryan Strome punched in the back of the head for intervening.

In the heat of the moment, the smaller Panarin grabbed Wilson from behind. To do so, he had to hop on his back and could still barely wrap his arms around him. The infuriated bull in a china shop proceeded to grab hold of Panarin who feebly tried to put up a fight and proceeded to body slam him to the ice.

The aftermath was this, Panarin out for the year and Wilson fined $5000 – for the punch. The Rangers on the other hand were fined $250,000 for calling out the NHL Department of Player Safety. By that math, Wilson could punch and body slam a player 49 more times (although the NHLPA via the CBA doesn’t allow fines of more than $5000).

Tom Wilson calls Artemi Panarin to check on him

tom wilson calls artemi panarin
Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Late yesterday we learned that Tom Wilson and Alexander Ovechkin called Artemi to see how he was feeling. Yes, I kid you not.

Tom Wilson and Alex Ovechkin reached out to Artemi Panarin just to see if he’s ok,” Darren Dreger revealed. “This isn’t unusual despite what some think about Tom Wilson. He did want to make sure Panarin was ok because it did not go the way that Wilson was hoping.”

In my best impersonation of Sam Rosen, “Excuse me!”

Just how did Wilson want that to go? I’m pretty baffled by that statement. Dreger adding that “the villain of the week does in fact have a heart” is equally mind boggling.

Updated with Tom Wilson comments from today:

Tom Wilson wants to move past this incident and provided the following comments.

  • “Nothing I say right now is going to change anyone’s opinion.”
  • “It was a crazy moment but one that’s not rare to happen in a hockey game. I’m trying to move on from it.”
  • “I think [Panarin] is a player that’s great for the game. He’s a great personality. He’s a heck of a player, and I like battling against him. I just wanted to send him a text and check in.”

Tom Wilson speaks for the first time on incident

Tom Wilson just wants to move on. Read more here.

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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