The Rangers were fined $250,000 Thursday by the NHL for the statement they made Tuesday, in which they criticized the league for not suspending Capitals forward Tom Wilson for injuring Artemi Panarin in the Rangers’ 6-3 loss to the Capitals Monday. In the statement, the Rangers declared that the league’s director of Player Safety, George Parros, "is unfit to continue in his current role.’’
"Public comments of the nature issued by the Rangers that were personal in nature and demeaning of a league executive will not be tolerated,’’ NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in the league’s statement. "While we don’t expect our clubs to agree with every decision rendered by the Department of Player Safety, the extent to which the Rangers expressed their disagreement was unacceptable. It is terribly unfair to question George Parros’ professionalism and dedication to his role and the Department of Player Safety.’’
On Tuesday, Wilson was fined $5,000 for punching Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich while Buchnevich was lying face down on the ice and defenseless during Monday’s game. Wilson then body-slammed a helmetless Panarin to the ice twice, and punched him while he was lying on the ice. The league chose not to discipline Wilson for that action.
After the ruling, the Rangers released a statement saying the team was "extremely disappointed that… Wilson was not suspended for his horrifying act of violence.’’
Wilson played in Wednesday’s rematch between the Capitals and Rangers. That game started with three fights on the game’s opening faceoff. In all, there were six fights in the first period, including one between Wilson and the Rangers’ Brendan Smith.
In the game, Buchnevich was penalized for slashing Wilson, high sticking Zdeno Chara, and cross-checking Anthony Mantha in the face. He was suspended for the Rangers’ game Thursday in Boston for cross-checking Mantha.