Photo: CBS Sports
Former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton joined the Cam and Strick Podcast on Tuesday and was asked about the aftermath of the incident between Washington Capitals right-wing Tom Wilson and Rangers left-wing Artemi Panarin, where Wilson took Panarin down to the ice in a scrum during the Capitals’ 5-3 win at Madison Square Garden on May 3. Two days after the scrum, Gorton lost his job. “I didn’t know it was going to turn in to that,” he told the show, adding that he was surprised of the aftermath.
“It has to be more than [what happened between Wilson and Panarin],” he thought. The Rangers were unhappy about how their performance in the past two seasons, which ultimately led to Gorton getting fired.
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
Gorton said that he talked with then-head coach David Quinn about getting tougher over time but wanted young players to “deal with this stuff, play through some of this adversity.” Quinn was also fired by the Rangers after the season.
“Obviously it didn’t go well. Wilson should have been suspended,” Gorton told the show. “I didn’t think that night was going to be what it turned into where people are going to lose their jobs” and added that it will be remembered for what it is.
Gorton told the show that the Rangers’ public relations department wrote the press release that called the NHL’s Department of Player Safety head George Parros “unfit” for the position. “You might have seen it the first time I did,” he said.
In response to Wilson pushing the Rangers’ players around, the organization gave up a third-round pick (arguably an overpayment) to acquire 6’2”, 255-pound right-wing Ryan Reaves from the Vegas Golden Knights; a seventh-round pick to lure 6’2″, 203-pound left-wing Barclay Goodrow from the Tampa Bay Lightning early when they could have gotten him for free in free agency; and 6’2″, 205-pound left-wing Sammy Blais from the St. Louis Blues (in addition to a second-round pick) that sent Buchnevich to the Gateway City in a lopsided deal that should have garnered more of a return for the Rangers; and 6’6″, 205-pound defenseman Jarred Tinordi in free agency. Goodrow signed an expensive six-year contract that carries a $3.64 million cap hit with the Rangers this offseason.
You can listen to the full interview below:
Former Rangers GM Jeff Gorton gives deep explanation on aftermath following the Wilson/Panarin incident and the wild press release that subsequently followed. Have a listen👇#NYR #Allcaps @camandstrickpod pic.twitter.com/wY73avUQz1
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) August 24, 2021
By Harrison Brown