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Forums :: Blog World :: Paul Stewart: The Big-Picture Issue with the Latest Tom Wilson Incident
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Paul Stewart
Joined: 10.14.2013

Dec 3 @ 2:59 AM ET
Paul Stewart: The Big-Picture Issue with the Latest Tom Wilson Incident
RangerSaver
New York Rangers
Location: NY
Joined: 03.22.2013

Dec 3 @ 3:49 AM ET
You couldn't have summarized this latest Tom Wilson incident any better, Mr. Stewart. This past Saturday at 4:52 pm in reply to another member's comment on Jan Levine's Nov. 29th Rangers blog entitled, "Game 26 - NYR-OTT, Nam Joins Zucc On Sideline, ...", I basically mentioned some of your same thoughts there.
I felt that it was a blindside hit that any player with hockey skills to play at this level could have avoided making, and in this case, with Wilson especially having the time and space available to cut to either side of Seney. I added that had Wilson seen in contrast that he was prone to being hit while skating at full speed with available time and space to shift to, in order to avoid being hit, that he would have done so. In addition, with the fast speed Wilson was skating at, had the contact been instead to Seney's head as Wilson's hit was against a Blues player in that preseason game resulting in an initial 20 games suspension which was later reduced, the NHL would have had a serious matter to deal with on its hands.
But the most surprising words came from his head coach, as you pointed out. I could not believe that Caps head coach, Todd Reirdon would claim Wilson's hit was "INCIDENTAL CONTACT", and even worse, further stupidly claim that "SENEY BACKED INTO WILSON". Obviously, he was viewing the situation in Capitals colored glasses only.
powerenforcer
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Mt. Prospect, IL
Joined: 09.24.2009

Dec 3 @ 9:22 AM ET
When will the league make the coaches take responsibility for some of these players? If a player is suspended, then a coach should be too. How fast do you think 1) the player will stop his action and/or 2) the player is not on the roster anymore? OR maybe, just let the players police themselves. Maybe respect will enter back into the game.
powerenforcer
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Mt. Prospect, IL
Joined: 09.24.2009

Dec 3 @ 9:22 AM ET
When will the league make the coaches take responsibility for some of these players? If a player is suspended, then a coach should be too. How fast do you think 1) the player will stop his action and/or 2) the player is not on the roster anymore? OR maybe, just let the players police themselves. Maybe respect will enter back into the game.
Sec111
New York Islanders
Location: NY
Joined: 07.14.2006

Dec 3 @ 9:36 AM ET
Spot on, when the same individual does it over and over, thanks to the arbitrator, for letting him somewhat off the hook, that guy (who also gave a wife beater a break) is also part of the problem.
BiggE
Philadelphia Flyers
Location: Buh bye NJ, hello Florida!
Joined: 04.17.2012

Dec 3 @ 10:00 AM ET
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind Paul, the NHL doesn't give a damn about player safety. If they did, Wilson would have been suspended, and based on his priors, it would have been at least 10 games. There is no place in the game for this. I'm 53 and my memories go back to the 70s. They can talk about the brawling and whatnot from that era all they want, but you did not see the cheap shots and head shots, along with the stickwork, that you see in today's game.

The NHLs obsession with removing fighting from the game is not doing anything to improve players safety. If they really want to make the game safer, first they need to start handing out significant suspensions for this type of crap and secondly, get rid of the instigator rule. When a player knows that a cheap shot may very well lead to his ass getting kicked and both he and the other guy will only get 5 each for fighting after the bout, the cheap shot artist may start thinking twice before pulling his crap.
Hutch124
Edmonton Oilers
Joined: 12.03.2018

Dec 3 @ 10:42 AM ET
Your website won't open.
gergeswillems
Detroit Red Wings
Location: At his absolute peak, Seabrook still not as good as Gardiner-James_Troller
Joined: 02.01.2016

Dec 3 @ 10:51 AM ET
Paul Stewart: The Big-Picture Issue with the Latest Tom Wilson Incident
- Paul Stewart

Is it fair to say Tom Wilson is a product of the Instigator Rule? There's no way he'd be as brave as he is if this rule wasn't in place. Thoughts?
Paul Stewart
Joined: 10.14.2013

Dec 3 @ 11:11 AM ET
Your website won't open.
- Hutch124


Try it from the main page: yawannago.com
Paul Stewart
Joined: 10.14.2013

Dec 3 @ 11:13 AM ET
Is it fair to say Tom Wilson is a product of the Instigator Rule? There's no way he'd be as brave as he is if this rule wasn't in place. Thoughts?
- gergeswillems


I think that is a part of it. Never was a fan of that rule when I was reffing and would c certainly not have liked it back when I was playing .
scottak
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Palatine, IL
Joined: 08.06.2010

Dec 3 @ 11:21 AM ET
The sad thing is that the players don’t appear to be interested in player safety either.

You’d thing 1 member of a union wouldn’t intentionally try to injure one of his peers.
birdie03
Columbus Blue Jackets
Joined: 07.01.2011

Dec 3 @ 3:07 PM ET
Why is the NHL wasting money paying the DOPS ????? They seem to turn a blind eye when it's convenient, (i.e. it's convenient during the playoffs), and when they do some enforcement, it's often arbitrary.
After Wilson's dirty hit - whether or not you assume his next one is only a matter of time - nothing was done by DOPS !! when something should have been.
So another player will have to blindsided by Wilson, and probably concussed - or worse - before DOPS will grow a spine and do something. These type of attacks are career threatening for real hockey players - not uncontrolled headhunters.
Remind me again . . . who is the head of DOPS ??
gergeswillems
Detroit Red Wings
Location: At his absolute peak, Seabrook still not as good as Gardiner-James_Troller
Joined: 02.01.2016

Dec 3 @ 3:54 PM ET
Why is the NHL wasting money paying the DOPS ????? They seem to turn a blind eye when it's convenient, (i.e. it's convenient during the playoffs), and when they do some enforcement, it's often arbitrary.
After Wilson's dirty hit - whether or not you assume his next one is only a matter of time - nothing was done by DOPS !! when something should have been.
So another player will have to blindsided by Wilson, and probably concussed - or worse - before DOPS will grow a spine and do something. These type of attacks are career threatening for real hockey players - not uncontrolled headhunters.
Remind me again . . . who is the head of DOPS ??

- birdie03

Tom Wilson?
gergeswillems
Detroit Red Wings
Location: At his absolute peak, Seabrook still not as good as Gardiner-James_Troller
Joined: 02.01.2016

Dec 3 @ 4:05 PM ET
The sad thing is that the players don’t appear to be interested in player safety either.

You’d thing 1 member of a union wouldn’t intentionally try to injure one of his peers.

- scottak

What isn't being said by the Caps is that they WANT Wilson to play this way. His head coach Reirdon does especially. Coaches like having that physical force on the bench. That x factor who can impose his will and make his teammates feel braver. We all saw how the Caps held a physical edge over Vegas in the SCF. Now Wilson is a dirt bag. He's always been a dirt bag and he will continue being a dirt bag. He knows no other way. Same as Marchand. What's the over under on his next cheapshot? 5.5 games? This is when I miss the good ol' days of hockey. Well for me anyway as I grew up in the 80s. Probert, Kocur, Twist, McSorley, Semenko, Gillies, etc would make short work of Mr. FAKE Tough guy Tom Wilson. I'd love to see Messier in his prime square off against this turd ball hiding behind the Instigator Rule. But this will never happen. It was predicted when this rule was originated in the early 90s that the rats would take over the game. Kenny Linesman is somewhere smiling.
Wetbandit1
Buffalo Sabres
Location: you hire a good fiscalist and open something off shore in the Bahamas and there problem solve !, NY
Joined: 10.07.2010

Dec 3 @ 9:20 PM ET
Spot on, when the same individual does it over and over, thanks to the arbitrator, for letting him somewhat off the hook, that guy (who also gave a wife beater a break) is also part of the problem.
- Sec111


Are you talking about Austin Watson? She apparently gave as good as she got, and she was under the influence at the time. It's a (frank)ed up situation, but it's not a Ray Rice situation. There's a fallacy that only men can abuse their significant other.

"My behaviour and state of intoxication lead to the police being involved that day," Guardino said. "I have struggled with alcoholism for many years and I am actively involved in AA. I am fortunate to have Austin's continued support with my treatment. We handled matters poorly on June 16th and know that we need to make better decisions going forward."

https://www.cbc.ca/sports...lame-suspension-1.4862223

I understand that she could be coerced into saying that. There's also hearsay that she's being honest.
Wetbandit1
Buffalo Sabres
Location: you hire a good fiscalist and open something off shore in the Bahamas and there problem solve !, NY
Joined: 10.07.2010

Dec 3 @ 9:26 PM ET
The sad thing is that the players don’t appear to be interested in player safety either.

You’d thing 1 member of a union wouldn’t intentionally try to injure one of his peers.

- scottak


And then the union goes to bat for the offender.
PghPens668771
Pittsburgh Penguins
Joined: 11.26.2013

Dec 3 @ 9:43 PM ET
The sad thing is that the players don’t appear to be interested in player safety either.

You’d thing 1 member of a union wouldn’t intentionally try to injure one of his peers.

- scottak


I have basically said this very same thing on the Pens' forums. I think the problem is the NHLPA - not the NHL nor its DoPS like what many others suggest. The DoPS gave Wilson what he deserved for the hit on Sundqvist and it was the NHLPA that allowed Wilson to appeal and reduce the suspension. The DoPS could not have done anything more than what it did.

Basically the NHLPA is dominated by old veterans. Most of Wilson's victims have been younger players - Wennberg, Sundqvist, Aston-Reese, and Seney. He also got Conor Sheary back in 2016. The union doesn't care about these younger players and feels that they have to "earn" their position of having more influence. Tom Wilson knows this and takes advantage of it, essentially "feasting" on younger players. As soon as he takes out a Ron Hainsey with a career-ending elbow to the head his career will be over, though.

I think the solution here is to actually disband the DoPS and no longer suspend any players for any on-ice infractions. Let the union suspend its players if it wants. However, instead, issue fines against the owners of the teams with the players who commit these infractions. The fines would be incremental starting at $250k. Moreover, for each player they would be career-incremental and not reset between seasons. I wonder how much Leonsis would want Wilson on the team if he has to pay a $5 million fine for his next dirty hit.
Wetbandit1
Buffalo Sabres
Location: you hire a good fiscalist and open something off shore in the Bahamas and there problem solve !, NY
Joined: 10.07.2010

Dec 4 @ 12:30 AM ET
I have basically said this very same thing on the Pens' forums. I think the problem is the NHLPA - not the NHL nor its DoPS like what many others suggest. The DoPS gave Wilson what he deserved for the hit on Sundqvist and it was the NHLPA that allowed Wilson to appeal and reduce the suspension. The DoPS could not have done anything more than what it did.

Basically the NHLPA is dominated by old veterans. Most of Wilson's victims have been younger players - Wennberg, Sundqvist, Aston-Reese, and Seney. He also got Conor Sheary back in 2016. The union doesn't care about these younger players and feels that they have to "earn" their position of having more influence. Tom Wilson knows this and takes advantage of it, essentially "feasting" on younger players. As soon as he takes out a Ron Hainsey with a career-ending elbow to the head his career will be over, though.

I think the solution here is to actually disband the DoPS and no longer suspend any players for any on-ice infractions. Let the union suspend its players if it wants. However, instead, issue fines against the owners of the teams with the players who commit these infractions. The fines would be incremental starting at $250k. Moreover, for each player they would be career-incremental and not reset between seasons. I wonder how much Leonsis would want Wilson on the team if he has to pay a $5 million fine for his next dirty hit.

- PghPens668771


But Tom Wilson is a young player too.
gergeswillems
Detroit Red Wings
Location: At his absolute peak, Seabrook still not as good as Gardiner-James_Troller
Joined: 02.01.2016

Dec 4 @ 9:20 AM ET
But Tom Wilson is a dirty player too.
- Wetbandit1

Sec111
New York Islanders
Location: NY
Joined: 07.14.2006

Dec 4 @ 10:04 AM ET
Are you talking about Austin Watson? She apparently gave as good as she got, and she was under the influence at the time. It's a (frank)ed up situation, but it's not a Ray Rice situation. There's a fallacy that only men can abuse their significant other.

"My behaviour and state of intoxication lead to the police being involved that day," Guardino said. "I have struggled with alcoholism for many years and I am actively involved in AA. I am fortunate to have Austin's continued support with my treatment. We handled matters poorly on June 16th and know that we need to make better decisions going forward."

https://www.cbc.ca/sports...lame-suspension-1.4862223

I understand that she could be coerced into saying that. There's also hearsay that she's being honest.

- Wetbandit1


Yeah what was I thinking, that makes it ok for a 6'4" 200 + athlete to strike a woman, not where I'm from, and not the way I was brought up, but hey equal rights.
Blackstrom2
Washington Capitals
Location: richmond, VA
Joined: 10.11.2010

Dec 4 @ 11:35 AM ET
What isn't being said by the Caps is that they WANT Wilson to play this way. His head coach Reirdon does especially. Coaches like having that physical force on the bench. That x factor who can impose his will and make his teammates feel braver. We all saw how the Caps held a physical edge over Vegas in the SCF. Now Wilson is a dirt bag. He's always been a dirt bag and he will continue being a dirt bag. He knows no other way. Same as Marchand. What's the over under on his next cheapshot? 5.5 games? This is when I miss the good ol' days of hockey. Well for me anyway as I grew up in the 80s. Probert, Kocur, Twist, McSorley, Semenko, Gillies, etc would make short work of Mr. FAKE Tough guy Tom Wilson. I'd love to see Messier in his prime square off against this turd ball hiding behind the Instigator Rule. But this will never happen. It was predicted when this rule was originated in the early 90s that the rats would take over the game. Kenny Linesman is somewhere smiling.
- gergeswillems


Yes it is. He's a good player. God forbid the Red Wings would have a gritty player. $hit happens. If he were a Blackhawk you'd have no problem with him. Cheer for the laundry.
- gergeswillems

Wetbandit1
Buffalo Sabres
Location: you hire a good fiscalist and open something off shore in the Bahamas and there problem solve !, NY
Joined: 10.07.2010

Dec 4 @ 6:21 PM ET
Yeah what was I thinking, that makes it ok for a 6'4" 200 + athlete to strike a woman, not where I'm from, and not the way I was brought up, but hey equal rights.
- Sec111


Right because everything is black and white. I forgot.

The only thing witnessed was a push. Why did he push her? Was she swinging at him? Did she spit at him? Drunk people do all sorts of crazy poop. I'm not saying it's right, but it's hardly a case where he was beating the poop out of her because she overcooked his steak.

People were so quick to convict Varlamov, I was one of them, in both Varlamov and Watson's cases, but as further info came to light it wasn't so black and white, and in Varlamov's case it was his girlfriend/fiance/wife that was hitting him. And he won an action against her in civil court for $126K and all charges were dropped.
Wetbandit1
Buffalo Sabres
Location: you hire a good fiscalist and open something off shore in the Bahamas and there problem solve !, NY
Joined: 10.07.2010

Dec 4 @ 6:22 PM ET
Tom Wilson is a dirty player too
- gergeswillems


That's a given
Wetbandit1
Buffalo Sabres
Location: you hire a good fiscalist and open something off shore in the Bahamas and there problem solve !, NY
Joined: 10.07.2010

Dec 5 @ 1:01 AM ET
So this is an eerily similar situation to the one Wilson delivered to Seney:



Except Reaves doesn't make any contact with Wilson's head, and Wilson just clipped Seney's head after making most of the contact with Seney's shoulder.
shoreorrpark
Boston Bruins
Joined: 04.03.2016

Dec 5 @ 3:11 PM ET
So this is an eerily similar situation to the one Wilson delivered to Seney:



Except Reaves doesn't make any contact with Wilson's head, and Wilson just clipped Seney's head after making most of the contact with Seney's shoulder.

- Wetbandit1

Wilson is fair game.
Bullies usually won't stand up to a better man.
Case and point: The above video.
Turn around is fair play in my books.
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