I understand a lot of people do not like Tom Wilson. I get it. I would probably hate his guts too if he constantly destroyed my favorite hockey team, so I consider myself lucky he's on my team and not someone else's. But love him or hate him, there is no way you can dispute the power he holds over the NHL. It's not Crosby. It's not McDavid. It's not even Ovechkin. Stanley Cup Champion Tom Wilson is the most influential player in the NHL. He breathes and people flinch. Teams game-plan around him. Organizations that have been around since 1926 crumble at his feet. He just brought down the New York Rangers in one fell swoop. It's like he inception'd them to blow up from the inside out. I've never seen anything like this in sports. One little brew-ha-ha and the Rangers folded like a house of cards. Absolutely fascinating.
But I do wonder why hockey fans, the fans that mock the NBA for being soft, all whine about him. So he plays a little rough around the edges, what of it? The hockey fans crying over SCCTW are the same ones who talk about how they wish the sports was still as physical as it was in the 1980's. Well, you can't have it both ways just because the Caps were smart enough to draft a top goal scorer who can also squash anyone on any other team like a bug. Panarin jumped on his back and people are trying to throw SCCTW in jail for flicking him off like an ant at a picnic. What do you want him to, sing Panarin a lullaby and tuck him in at night?
This entire saga has been crazy. And best news of all, the two teams square off again tonight. My prediction? A fight at the opening face off (or whenever Willy is on the ice) and then they get on with the game. I'm sure it'll be chippy but this is how hockey has been for 200 years, it's not going to change now because the Rangers whiney front office released some woe is me statement.
At least there is one Rangers fan who gets it: