One franchise in particular is dissatisfied with the head of the NHL's Player Safety Department, George Parros, and players can bet on his future.
Probably the biggest story in the NHL this season - when something from the league lands in the opening block of ESPN's sports center, you know it's big because otherwise this network largely ignores hockey; although that should change in the future as ESPN is the new broadcasting partner starting next season, it was on May 3 when the Washington Capitals visited the New York Rangers.
That the Capitals won 6-3 to eliminate the Blueshirts from their play-offs was irrelevant. Washington player Tom Wilson, who was suspended multiple times in his career, hit the back of the head of Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich while Buchnevich lay face down on the scrum ice and then Wilson stabbed New York's Artemi Panarina into the ice. Both were extremely dangerous and could cause a serious injury - Panarin did not play again this season after this season.
Surprisingly, Wilson was not suspended and fined just $ 5,000 by the NHL Player Safety Department, including George Parros in charge. This fine was the maximum amount allowed under the collective agreement. In an unprecedented move, Rangers released a statement via regular channels and social media calling for Parros to be fired:
"The New York Rangers are very disappointed that Capitals forward Tom Wilson was not suspended for his horrific act of violence ... Wilson is a repeat offender with a long history of such acts, and we find it shocking that the NHL and their Department of Player Safety have failed to take appropriate action and suspended indefinitely. Wilson's dangerous and reckless actions injured Artemie Panarin, which would prevent him from playing again this season. We consider this to be a neglect of the NHL player safety chief George Parros and find him unfit to continue in his current role. "
NHL Odds Against Rangers Granting Their Wish
You just don't see the teams of Such league reps calling and it is believed that the statement is coming directly from Rangers owner James Dolan, who also owns the NBA Knicks. NHL fined Rangers $ 250,000 (a minor change for Dolan) and part of the league's statement read:
"It's terribly unfair to question George Parros' professionalism and dedication to his role and the Player Safety Department."
It's hard to imagine that the league would quit Parros after such a big, good and strong statement, and that Parros is in the same role to start the 2021 - 22 season is - 473 without at + 250 . Almost the only way it gets removed is with many owners wanting it to happen. In theory, Parros could also step down on his own.
Parros played in the NHL from 2005 - 2014 with Kings, Avalanche, Ducks, Panthers and Canadiens. In 474 games, he only totaled 79 goals and 18 helps but a 1,092 minute penalty. In short, he was an enforcer / bandit - an interesting choice for the position of senior vice president of the NHL Player Safety Department. On the other hand, as Parros noted when I got promoted to this job: "What uniquely positions me for this job is that I have played the game just as physically as anyone and I have never been fined or suspended." Parros replaced Stephane Quintal as Senior Vice President, Player Safety in September 2017. Wilson was suspended five times during Parros's tenure.