The New York Rangers were out for revenge on Tom Wilson during Wednesday night’s game against the Washington Capitals.
Back on Monday, the New York Rangers witnessed star winger Artemi Panarin’s season end due to the questionable actions of controversial Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson. The NHL Department of Player Safety dropped the ball by only assessing a $5,000 fine to Wilson for punching a prone Pavel Buchnevich in the head in that very same game, and nothing for what he did to Panarin.
On Wednesday, the Rangers decided to take actions into their own hands by starting a line brawl with the Capitals on the opening puck drop. Minutes later, Wilson hit the ice for his first shift of the game, and was instantly met by Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith and started a fight of their own.
All in all, the Rangers and Capitals engaged in six fights in the first four minutes of playing time. This is what happens when the league bungles what many believed was a “lay-up punishment.”
Rangers’ eventful 48 hours culminate in fights vs. Capitals
The Rangers, like many, were stunned that the NHL failed to give a heavier punishment to Wilson, who has been suspended five times in his career for reckless and egregious hits. Despite that, Wilson was fined the maximum allowable in the current collective bargaining agreement for roughing. That was when the Rangers released a statement, calling for the removal of George Parros, the head of the Department of Player Safety.
On Wednesday afternoon, reports indicated that the Rangers fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton. New York confirmed the news later in the day before announcing that former Rangers captain and currently assistant general manager Chris Drury will fill both vacancies left by Davidson and Gorton.
And this is what happens when the NHL Department of Player Safety drops the ball in the discipline department — a team retaliating and taking actions in their own hands, figuratively and literally.