The New York Rangers made a bold statement against the NHL’s head of player safety George Parros on Tuesday, calling him “unfit” for the job after the league gave Washington Capitals enforcer Tom Wilson another slap on the wrist for Monday’s violent brawl that left the Broadway Blueshirts without its top player.
Social media erupted on Tuesday after the league announced that Wilson, a repeat offender, would be fined $5,000 for Monday’s second-period scrum that saw him punch a vulnerable Pavel Buchnevich in the back of the head before then throwing star forward Artemi Panarin to the ground and punching him in the head as well.
Head coach David Quinn said after the announcement that the team believed Wilson’s actions merited a suspension, a sentiment that was echoed by players around the league as well as fans.
“To me, anybody in hockey – certainly everybody in our organization – is very disappointed,” he said. “We certainly thought it warranted a suspension. We’re just really disappointed. A line was crossed: Guy didn’t have his helmet on, vulnerable, he got hurt. To me, it was an awful lot there to suspend him.”
But just hours later, the Rangers took their dissatisfaction one step further by making an official statement calling Parros “unfit” for the job after such a glaring lapse in judgment.
“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,” the team statement began. “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.”
The statement continued: “Wilson’s dangerous and reckless actions caused an injury to Artemi Panarin that will prevent him from playing again this season. We view this as a dereliction of duty by NHL Head of Player Safety, George Parros, and believe he is unfit to continue in his current role.”
The statement was widely praised but there is no indication the league intends to revisit the issue. The NHL did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment as of Wednesday morning.
Wilson was given a double-minor penalty for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct during the game. The fine represents 0.12% of Wilson’s $4.1 million salary for this season.
This is his third fine in eight NHL seasons, and he has been suspended five times. The most recent suspension was seven games in March for boarding Boston’s Brandon Carlo.