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Tom Wilson Speaks: Shocked Panarin Incident Has “Blown Up” Like It Has

Tom Wilson spoke to the media this week and said he’s surprised this incident with Artemi Panarin has blown up like it has.

Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has finally spoken about the incidents from earlier this week, ones that cost him $5K, but also led to absolutely no suspension. The drama blew up in a major way this week with many pundits and fans sitting on either side of the fence.

Some said because it was Tom Wilson, the league should have looked at this incident differently. Others have suggested that the Panarin drama unfolded as a result of a scrum. Since scrums happen all the time, it wasn’t really a suspendable play. The Head of the NHL Department of Player Safety, George Parros has taken some heat as a result of his decision to barely slap Wilson on the wrist, while Wilson doesn’t seem to think it’s a big deal.

“After the play, I would have never thought that all this would have blown up,” Wilson said. Suggesting it was just a scrum and things happen during a scrum, he didn’t think either player (he or Panarin) was really all that bothered by what happened. When he learned that Panarin was injured, Wilson said he reached out to the Rangers star to make sure he was ok.


Wilson said when he watched it back, it’s hard to dissect in real time what he’d have done differently. He said he doesn’t think it’s fair to go back and ask if he’d done anything differently. “Anyone that’s been in one, it’s crazy, there’s sticks, there’s skates, by the end of the scrum I’m holding my head not to get cut by a skate.” Wilson contends he was not really aware at first about which guys were on his back. He also said he was aware of which players were on the ice and he didn’t want to drop his gloves and fight anyone that couldn’t go toe-to-toe with him.

He noted that there’s a lot of talk going on because people have an opinion of him. “Nothing I say right now is going to change anybody’s opinion. They’ve already made that up, and I’ve just got to keep moving forward,” he added.

His coach agrees that this has gotten so much coverage because this is Wilson at the center of the controversy. “He gets looked at in a certain way,” Peter Laviolette said. Still, he doesn’t want Wilson to change his game. “He has to play his game, he has to be hard to play against, he has to be physical, but in the same sense, he’s got to know that eyes are on him as well.”

Tom Wilson holding Buchnevich
Tom Wilson holding Buchnevich

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