The New York Rangers received a $250,000 fine from the NHL for their public comments on Tuesday following the decision from the Department of Player Safety to not suspend Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson. The team called for the dismissal of DOPS head George Parros and will now pay a fine 50 times greater than the one they issued to Wilson in the first place.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released this statement:
"Public comments of the nature issued by the Rangers that were personal in nature and demeaning of a League executive will not be tolerated. 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."
The Rangers have been a whirlwind of chaos since Wilson punched Pavel Buchnevich and threw Artemi Panarin to the ground on Monday night. They followed the statement by firing president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton, though senior adviser Glenn Sather explained again Thursday that the two incidents had nothing to do with each other. Wednesday night, the Rangers tried to take matters into their own hands by responding physically in a rematch with the Capitals, taking more than 80 minutes in penalties. Buchnevich also is expected to receive a suspension after high-sticking Capitals forward Anthony Mantha.
The league has issued fines like this in the past. During the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs the San Jose Sharks were fined $100,000 for GM Doug Wilson’s comments on the suspension given to Raffi Torres. In that case, it was a manager defending the actions of one of his players, but the two situations are still very similar when it comes to the punishment handed down by the league.
At the very least, this indicates that the league is standing behind Parros and his department leadership (though that should come as no surprise).