Former Rangers’ GM Jeff Gorton On Incident Between Artemi Panarin, Capitals’ Tom Wilson: “I Didn’t Think That Night Was Going To Be What It Turned Into”

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.

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:

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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3 Responses to Former Rangers’ GM Jeff Gorton On Incident Between Artemi Panarin, Capitals’ Tom Wilson: “I Didn’t Think That Night Was Going To Be What It Turned Into”

  1. Anonymous says:

    No, Willy shouldnt have been suspended. Those pricks were taking liberties with a few of the Caps that night, including the goalie. If there was no one on the Caps named Wilson it would’ve been chalked up to that and end of story. Phuck the Rags.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I just rewatched the 5/3(Caps won 6-3) and 5/5 games. Cheesus the Rags look like sore losers. Pathetic, actually.

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