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Rangers Fined $250K After Releasing Statement Ripping NHL over Tom Wilson Punishment

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 6, 2021

Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo via AP

The NHL fined the New York Rangers $250,000 on Thursday for their statement that called for the firing of NHL Head of Player Safety George Parros.

Commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the fine in the league's announcement:

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

New York Rangers Fined $250,000. https://t.co/W70Meln7Lr pic.twitter.com/R0MvLhGQVq

After Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson received only a $5,000 fine and no suspension for punching Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich in the back of the head and injuring Rangers forward Artemi Panarin during Monday's game, the Rangers released the following statement:

"The New York Rangers are extremely disappointed that Capitals forward Tom Wilson was not suspended for his horrifying act of violence last night at Madison Square Garden. Wilson is a repeat offender with a long history of these types of acts and we find it shocking that the NHL and their department of player safety failed to take the appropriate action and suspend him indefinitely. Wilson's dangerous and reckless actions caused an injury to Artemi Panarin that will prevent him from playing again this season. We view this is a dereliction of duty by NHL head of player safety, George Parros, and believe he is unfit to continue in his current role." 

Panarin, who is the Rangers' leading scorer this season with 58 points, did not play in Wednesday's rematch against the Capitals and will not play in New York's final two regular-season games against the Boston Bruins either.

The Rangers' frustration was apparent Wednesday, as New York and Washington engaged in a line brawl after the opening faceoff:

Jeff Eisenband @JeffEisenband

Rangers and Capitals just went in with 3 fights off the opening face-off. pic.twitter.com/CeCc1TGBKl

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Overall, there were six fights and 13 penalties in the first five minutes of Wednesday's game. That included Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith fighting Wilson.

The decision to only fine Wilson was a surprising one given that he has been suspended by the NHL on multiple occasions during his career.

Per Spotrac, Wilson was suspended four games in 2017 for a boarding penalty, a total of 17 games in 2018 for two separate illegal checks to the head and seven games in March for an illegal check to the head of Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo.

While the Rangers are out of playoff contention, the Capitals have clinched a postseason berth and are tied for first place in the East Division with 73 points.

Suspending Wilson may have left the Caps without a key player to begin the playoffs, but the NHL decided against it, and the Rangers don't believe justice was served.

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