Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson received a 10-minute game misconduct penalty last night for starting a fight via a cheap shot on Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich.
When the rest of the Rangers took issue with that, Wilson continued fighting, including flinging the much-smaller New York star Artemi Panarin to the ice by his hair.
Tom Wilson gets a 10-minute misconduct for punching Buchnevich in the head on the ground and body slamming Panarin pic.twitter.com/fg2HRej8yD
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 4, 2021
The sucker punch that started things off is plenty despicable on its own, and that’s before we even get to the fighting tactics (had Panarin’s head struck the ice more forcefully there, it could have been really bad.) The Capitals Twitter account responded by, well, doing this:
Going with the meme route after that display from one of your team’s players is certainly a choice! It was met with quick and fairly universal backlash from pretty much everyone, but the team left it up for a surprisingly long time. And then they deleted it, quietly, without any note or apology.
The team’s PR account tweeted this about Wilson:
Tom Wilson recorded two points (1g, 1a) against the Rangers and has now registered five points (2g, 3a) in his last five games. Wilson's 0.77 points per game rate this season is the highest rate of his career (2019-20: 0.65).
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) May 4, 2021
The tweet is obviously just a minor thing here; Wilson has already been fined a meager sum and will likely face no further consequences:
Washington’s Tom Wilson has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for Roughing NY Rangers’ Pavel Buchnevich.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) May 4, 2021
Considering there were some actual calls in the press for Wilson to be criminally investigated, a $5,000 fine and no suspension feels pretty incongruous, and that’s much more worthy of scrutiny than a very bad tweet the team elected to take down without admitting they were wrong to send it in the first place.
[h/t Forever Blue Shirts]