Caps’ Wilson on media criticism: ‘People that are writing it aren’t players’

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Certain members of the New York media do not think much of Tom Wilson. That much has become clear in the wake of Wilson’s devastating hit on Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky — a collision that knocked the 38-year-old out of the Capitals-Isles series with a suspected concussion.

So, what does Wilson think of some of the things that have been written about him? Like, for example, that he’s a “wild-eyed instigator with little regard for his health or that of those on the ice with him”?

The answer is, not much.

“I mean, at the end of the day you go down the line and shake the Islanders’ hands,” Wilson told the Washington Post. “Everyone on that side understands what I’m doing. We’re players, we all play the game. People that are writing it aren’t players. Most of them have never played. A lot of the guys that have played — guys that are on panels, TSN — I didn’t hear one of those guys going on a huge rant. They all played the game; they understand it’s a fast game, it’s a hard-hitting game. Those hits are going to happen.”

Granted, the ink-stained wretches weren’t the only ones who had a problem with Wilson’s hit on Visnovsky. The Islanders didn’t like it too much either.

But Wilson’s right that there can be a major disconnect between players and media when it comes to stuff like this. By and large, players are more accepting of “hard-hitting” hockey, not to mention fighting, than those who cover the game. Not in all cases, but on the whole.

“I never want to hurt anyone,” Wilson said. “That’s never my goal. My goal is just to win the hockey game and get on the defense and make their lives difficult. I mentioned to a couple of the [Islanders] coaching staff in the handshake [line], I wish Visnovsky all the best. I know he’s an older guy. I have so much respect for him. He’s obviously been injury-prone. But at the end of the day, he’s playing. He knows how fast the game is, he knows how hard the hits are.”