The NHL fined Tom Wilson $5K for a controversial incident most prominently involving Rangers forwards Pavel Buchnevich and Artemi Panarin. You can watch that violent scene in the video above this post’s headline.
While Rangers coach David Quinn described Panarin as “OK” following the 6-3 Capitals win, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman indicates that Panarin will miss the remainder of the regular season. There won’t be much time for tensions to settle down, either, as the Rangers and Capitals meet one more time in 2020-21 … on Wednesday.
(Rangers – Capitals airs on NBCSN on Wednesday, with pre-game coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. ET. Click here for the livestream link.)
Interestingly, the Department of Player Safety tweet only mentions Tom Wilson and Pavel Buchnevich, not Panarin or other Rangers.
Washington’s Tom Wilson has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for Roughing NY Rangers’ Pavel Buchnevich.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) May 4, 2021
Wilson did not get ejected following the incident. Instead, he received four minutes for two roughing penalties, plus a misconduct. He ended up scoring an empty-netter to close out the game.
[MORE: Rangers statement criticizes Wilson fine, Parros as player safety head]
Rangers, Capitals, hockey fans react to incident
Following the contest, Rangers coach David Quinn and forward Mika Zibanejad both called out Tom Wilson for his actions. Quinn said that Tom Wilson crossed the line, while Zibanejad provided this reaction:
"I figured you should have some more respect for the game and for the players…it's just horrible. Zero respect. I don't know why I'm surprised" – Mika Zibanejad on the Tom Wilson incident tonight pic.twitter.com/f1veh5G3af
— Rangers Videos (@SNYRangers) May 4, 2021
Capitals coach Peter Laviolette saw it differently.
“I thought it was just a scrum, like a physical play,” Laviolette said, via The Athletic (sub required). “There was something going on originally with the goalie and they’re jamming at the goalie and a bunch of players jump in there. It happens a lot.”
Again, Tom Wilson stirred up a ton of reactions in the hockey world. (The Capitals eventually deleted a tweet that fanned the flames.)
Larry Brooks of the New York Post called for the NHL to “ban” Tom Wilson. Some believed that people were overreacting.
Following the decision, Ryan Strome called it “a joke” and said the league is sending a bad message.
Full answer from Ryan Strome on Tom Wilson: pic.twitter.com/ThrMhdMNd0
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) May 4, 2021
Wherever you stand, the verdict is in: no suspension, just a fine, for Tom Wilson.
Tom Wilson suspension history
To review, Tom Wilson has been suspended five times by the NHL. Here’s a rundown of those incidents, including dates.
- Sept. 22. 2017: Two preseason games for a hit on Blues forward Robert Thomas.
- Oct. 1, 2017: The NHL suspended Tom Wilson for four games for boarding Sammy Blais, also of the Blues.
- May 1, 2018: Three playoff games for an illegal check to the head of Zach Aston-Reese (Penguins).
- Sept. 20, 2018: Tom Wilson was initially suspended 20 games for an illegal hit to the head of Oskar Sundqvist, also of the Blues. Eventually, Wilson was able to reduce that suspension to 14 games via an appeal.
- March 6, 2021: Earlier this season, the NHL suspended Wilson seven games for a hit on Brandon Carlo of the Bruins. In that case, Wilson decided not to appeal the suspension.
In addition to those five suspensions, the NHL also fined Tom Wilson three times. The most recent, of course, was this incident involving Panarin and Buchnevich.
Along with that, Tom Wilson received a fine for kneeing (now-current teammate) Conor Sheary back in 2016. Back in March 2015, the NHL fined Wilson for embellishment/diving.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.