Photo: The Athletic
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly talked to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun about many topics in an interview published on Wednesday, including Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson after the 26-year-old was fined $5,000 by the league for roughing forward Pavel Buchnevich in the team’s 5-3 win over the New York Rangers on Monday. Many believe that Wilson should have gotten a heavy suspension.
After the Rangers released a statement where they called NHL Department of Player Safety head George Parros unfit for the position, Daly responded to it by saying “Well, I think certainly it was an emotional response and I’m sensitive to that and sympathetic to that. And certainly, the Rangers feel strongly about their position. And I think we’ve always endorsed the clubs’ ability to express its views.”
On Parros, Daly defended him, saying “You know, I can’t endorse a personal attack against any league staff particularly George. I think George is a smart, hardworking hockey experienced head of Department of Player Safety. I think he’s done a fabulous job from Day 1. I think he continues to do a fabulous job. It’s a tough job, it’s a thankless job. There are always differences of opinion and there will always be differences of opinion going forward. So, whether you agree with him or not the fact of the matter is George does his homework, he relies on precedent and he makes judgments and I respect the fact that the Rangers may disagree with his judgment but I don’t think it’s a reflection George’s ability to do his job.”
When asked about whether he is concerned about Wilson’s suspension history (five times) and he should have gotten more than a fine, Daly told LeBrun “I guess the track record of Player Safety vis a vis Tom Wilson kind of proves your suggestion, that you know, look he’s put himself in this position but the spotlight’s on him and everything he does is scrutinized to the nth degree and probably far more than other players doing similar things. And again he’s earned that. He’s put himself in that position. But the fact of the matter is that is how the Department of Player Safety has treated him over time. I can’t get into the rationale for this particular decision other than I think it was a little bit different than anything else he’s ever done. But the fact of the matter is he is held to a higher standard and probably rightly so.”
“I’m not really in a position to update kind of where we are. That’s an internal league matter. Obviously, if and when there comes a point in time where there is something to announce in that regard it will be announced,” Daly said of whether the Rangers will be punished about the statement they released.
Daly would not comfirm if there has been any talk between the NHL and Rangers about the statement released by the club.
By Harrrison Brown