Even John Scott, who was known for dropping the gloves in his day, thinks Tom Wilson went too far.
The former NHL tough guy posted a video of himself ripping the Capitals forward and the NHL for its soft discipline after Wilson’s antics led to a brawl with the Rangers and a season-ending injury to Artemi Panarin.
“What on Earth is happening with the NHL right now?” Scott said, referring to the light $5,000 fine Wilson received. “[Department of Player Safety head] George Parros completely dropped the ball, he dropped his drawers, he dropped everything.
“It was a joke of a fine. Listen, I love this kind of hockey, I think we all do, but what Tom did, there’s no excuse for that. It’s insane to me that he only got a $5,000 fine.”
Wilson was assessed two roughing penalties and a 10-minute misconduct after he landed a cheap shot on Pavel Buchnevich and body-slammed Panarin on the ice during the melee.
“Shame on you, NHL, you should have [done] something to protect Panarin, and shame on Wilson, you ought to know better,” Scott said.
Wilson has been suspended by the NHL five times. He was docked seven games earlier this season for a hit that sent Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo to the hospital. Considering his history, the expectation was he would face much more than just a drop-in-the-bucket fine.
“What this means, it’s fair game, baby, in any scrum,” Scott said. “If you go into a scrum anywhere on the ice and you see a star player, I’m throwing sucker punches, I’m grabbing this guy, I’m twisting ankles, I’m doing whatever I can because the worst thing that’s going to happen to me is a $5,000 [fine] because I don’t see anyone doing more than what Tom Wilson did to Panarin.”