He does it again folks! Tom Wilson just made another highlight-reel play, but not in a good way. Wilson is known to be the dirtiest player in the league after countless cheap shots and hits from behind. But his play against the Rangers on Monday might just be the best one yet.
After the play was over, Pavel Buchnevich lightly tapped Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek. Tom Wilson was clearly unhappy with that, so he decided to take action. No, he did not get into a verbal disagreement or shoving match. Instead, he did something that could have seriously injured Buchnevich. Wilson held Pavel’s head to the ice with his stick and took multiple jabs to his head/neck area. That right there should be suspension worthy, but it gets worse.
Ryan Strome witnessed this taking place so he jumps on top of Wilson. The two of them get into it and then Rangers superstar forward Artemi Panarin gets involved. He jumps on the back of Wilson and gets into a shoving match with him before Wilson grabs Panarin’s head/hair and body slams him into the ice headfirst. To make matters worse, Wilson was smiling and celebrating once he was placed in the penalty box. His punishment mid-game was a 10-minute misconduct, not a game misconduct, as he returned and netted an empty-net goal. Wilson is definitely going to get a suspension for this, right? Nope, he actually did not.
Tom Wilson was fined $5,000 by the NHL Department of Player Safety. To put that into perspective, $5,000 for Tom Wilson is about $60 for the average American earning a yearly salary of $50,000. Yes, you heard that correctly… Wilson is paying the NHL $60 for ending the season of Artemi Panarin— who is one of the faces of the NHL— and almost seriously injuring Pavel Buchnevich. Most people were calling for Wilson to be suspended indefinitely or for at least the rest of the season. Instead, he is paying the “maximum fine allowable for an NHL player.” Henrik Lundqvist was fined $5,000 a few years back for spraying water at Sidney Crosby. Who knew that almost killing someone and spraying water deserves equal punishments.
On top of this, Tom Wilson is a repeat offender. He is fresh off of a 7-game suspension for a brutal behind-the-back check on Bruins’ defenseman Brandon Carlo. As an Islanders fan, I have witnessed Wilson’s nonsense for years upon years. The first incident occurred in the 2015 playoffs, when Tom Wilson ended the career of Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. Wilson illegally and intentionally charged at Visnovsky, forcing him out of the rest of the playoff series and ending his NHL career. In total, Wilson has been suspended 5 times and fined on 2 occasions. Wilson has registered 333 penalties, which is good for 1,052 minutes. 20% of his penalties have been majors, which includes 16 misconducts and 2 match penalties. I would like to add that Tom Wilson is only 27 years old.
Tom Wilson is not a grinder or enforcer, he is a head-hunting goon. George Parros, president of the NHL Department of Safety, as well as the rest of the department, is at fault for not enforcing a real punishment on this player. His actions will continue as he is aware that no harsh punishment will be inflicted. The league has to do something about Tom Wilson because it is embarrassing and pathetic for the NHL.