The NHL’s pathetic response to the latest Tom Wilson debacle is why this league won’t become safer for the players until someone dies. If New York Rangers forwards Artemi Panarin or Pavel Buchnevich were in comas today, Tom Wilson is banned from the league. Instead, he got a slap on the wrist.
That may sound extreme but sadly, unless the result is extreme, the NHL doesn’t punish the act and continues to turn a blind eye to the very acts they claim to be ridding the game of. How can you do that though if you’re not ridding the game of the players that commit these cowardly and disgraceful acts of violence on the ice? How many times did it take for the league to phase out predators like Dale Hunter, Matt Cooke, and Raffi Torres?
It took until someone was seriously injured. So is that what the league, and the NHLPA, who is just as much to blame for enabling these predators, is waiting for? A $5000 fine to the Washington Capitals goon for almost inflicting serious injury to two different players within the same scrum, is the perfect example of the act being condoned unless the result is extreme. So yes, this veteran puck scribe agrees with New York Post hall of fame hockey scribe Larry Brooks who had this to say about ‘Teflon’ Tom Wilson.
‘Enough is enough. Wilson should be banned for the rest of the season and the playoffs, and he should have to apply for readmission to the league next season. A man with no hockey conscience has forfeited his right to play.’
Until that happens, the league is enabling the disrespectful, selfish, and dangerous behavior Wilson displays all too often and the childish taunting the Capitals’ social media team engaged in after Wilson’s latest foray over the line. A tweet taunting the rest of the NHL and opposing fans was lambasted on Twitter and then later deleted.
Before we move on from Tom Wilson here, and I apologize for the whataboutism, but how did Shawn Thornton get 15 games seven years ago for doing what Tom Wilson did to Buchnevich Monday night. Shouldn’t the league have evolved from that moment rather than regressed?
Now onto the rest of the Boston Hockey Now Puck Links!
The Boston Bruins will look to continue their rise up the East Division standings when they play the final game of their regular-season series with the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. Thankfully they will do so with defensemen Brandon Carlo and Mike Reilly back in the lineup. (Boston Hockey Now)
The Boston Bruins clinched a Stanley Cup Playoffs berth for a fifth straight season on Monday and as my partner-in-crime, Joe Haggerty, wrote, they did it with textbook Boston Bruins hockey. (Boston Hockey Now)
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews are now in rarified ‘Mario Magnifique’ air with the historical seasons they’re having. (TSN)
Former Boston Bruins winger Milan Lucic made a promise to Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving when he was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Flames back in July 2019. On Monday, Lucic kept that promise and waived his no-movement clause to allow the Flames to expose him in the Seattle Kraken NHL Expansion Draft in July. (Sportsnet)