Tom Wilson should be permanently banned from the National Hockey league.
After the incident Monday in a game against the New York Rangers where Wilson slammed Rangers forward Artemi Panarin to the ice, Wilson was fined $5,000 while avoiding a lengthy suspension.
As a result of that Wilson hit, Panarin is done for the season.
Wilson then went after Pavel Buchnevich, punching him in the head before throwing Buchnevich to the ice.
I appreciate hard-nosed hockey. I enjoy a good clean hard hit. However, Wilson seems to cross the line too often.
He has become nothing but a head-hunter and makes his living going after defenseless players. If teams were able to have an “enforcer” like the teams used to have in the old days of hockey, Wilson would not be able to get away with this garbage and be held accountable.
Wilson was suspended for seven games earlier this season for a hit on Brandon Carlo of the Bruins.
Here is the league’s explanation of the hit on Carlo and why they handled it the way they did. “A player (Wilson) with a substantial disciplinary record taking advantage of an opponent who is in a defenseless position, and doing so with significant force.”
This is a perfect description of Tom Wilson. He is a goon. He brings nothing at all to the game of hockey with his head-hunting antics. His only intent is to injure and maim his opponent, and he is bound and determined to do that by any means possible.
Wilson will look for situations when a player is most vulnerable and then take a run at them, injuring his opponents seriously on occasion.
If this were Wilson’s first couple of offenses, you could cut the guy a break, but Wilson has been suspended five times and fined thousands of dollars for these kinds of antics in the past.
Wilson is a repeat offender and will continue to act out in this manner until someone has the balls from the NHL office to suspend Wilson for the season or suspend him indefinitely.
By not taking a more aggressive approach to discipline Wilson, the NHL is enabling Wilson to continue to play the game in this way.
So what should the NHL have done with Wilson? Suspend him for the playoffs and consider a lifetime ban. If not a lifetime ban, at least suspend him for the 2021-22 season. When Wilson plays the game the right way, he is a very effective player for his team. But he has become a liability more than an asset.
Suspending him for the playoffs and possibly longer would send the message that this style of reckless play will no longer be tolerated.
Sometimes the only way to send a message to guys like Wilson is to suspend them indefinitely. When they sit on the couch watching their peers play, and they are not collecting their salary, the message will sometimes be delivered.
Right now, nothing has changed. We have not heard the last from Tom Wilson. We will have another incident in the playoffs because the NHL has done very little to deter Wilson from playing in this reckless manner.
Hopefully, a player will not suffer a career-threatening injury due to Wilson’s shenanigans.
Hockey is a great game, and Tom Wilson’s style of play leaves a black mark on the game we all know and love.