Ryan Strome has an issue with the NHL’s punishment for Tom Wilson, and it’s difficult to blame him.
The NHL on Tuesday fined Wilson $5,000 but elected not to suspend the Washington Capitals winger, who committed multiple violent, seemingly excessive offenses Monday night against the New York Rangers. Most notably, Wilson — considered by some the league’s dirtiest player — punched a defenseless Pavel Buchnevich during a scrum early in the second period.
Strome on Tuesday afternoon was asked about the NHL’s ruling on Wilson. You can read his response below, as transcribed by New York Post reporter Mollie Walker.
“I think it’s a joke, to be honest with you. I think Tom Wilson is an effective hockey player, I think he’s proven he can score goals, he can play with good players, I think he plays the game with an edge, which it is what it is. He’s got good skill and he’s produced in this league. But I just think that he crossed the line. I think, the whole play from the start, it was just (Buchnevich) trying to score a goal and jam the puck in. And everything from (Wilson’s) stick on his neck or the head and everything after that. A defenseless player in (Artemi) Panarin, in my opinion, with no helmet, a superstar in our league. I just think it’s a joke, to be honest with you. I know it’s not my responsibility to make decisions, but I just can’t believe that. I think it sends a bad message, in my opinion. I think everyone pretty much agrees with that. I just think that the league missed one here big time. It’s unfortunate, our best player is out for the rest of the year. It’s just an unfortunate incident that had nothing to do with the play, or the game of hockey. I think that’s kind of where the big issue is.”
Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette likely disagrees with Strome, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The Rangers and Capitals meet again Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.