The NHL’s final choice whether or not and for what period to droop Tom Wilson for twice body-slamming Artemi Panarin to the ice after the Washington recidivist went upside a inclined and defenseless Pavel Buchnevich’s head with a sucker punch throughout a second-period incident on the Garden on Monday won’t be a mirrored image on Wilson, however as an alternative on the league, itself.
This was not solely bush-league stuff from this infamous headhunter who has been suspended 5 occasions in his NHL career, it was frightening how shut his preliminary physique slam of Panarin, on which the Washington winger grabbed a bit of hair to realize leverage, got here to inflicting calamitous harm.
Had Panarin’s head, fairly than shoulder, hit the ice full power, the NHL may be presiding over a loss of life.
This is reckless stuff that’s repeated time and again and is enabled time and again by the Washington group. Just as Caps coach Peter Laviolette shrugged off Wilson’s blow that concussed Boston’s Brandon Carlo in early March that earned Wilson a seven-game suspension, the coach did it once more after Monday’s match.
“I thought it was just a scrum,” Laviolette mentioned after his group’s 6-3 victory wherein Wilson, who obtained nothing greater than a double minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct for his indiscretions, scored as soon as. “Some physical play … it happens a lot.”
Funny the way it occurs loads when Wilson, who preened within the penalty field, is concerned. But it’s not humorous in any respect. It is a blight on the league.
This is stuff from the Seventies, stuff from the times of the Broad Street Bullies, stuff that not might be tolerated. This is stuff that deserves as robust a rebuke as potential from Sixth Avenue.
Enough is sufficient. Wilson needs to be banned for the remainder of the season and the playoffs, and he ought to have to use for readmission to the league subsequent season. A person with no hockey conscience has forfeited his proper to play.
You’re up, commissioner.