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Rangers levied $250,000 fine for 'terribly unfair' criticism of NHL, George Parros

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The New York Rangers stepped well outside what would be considered an acceptable response to a decision made by the NHL, and the league has predictably come down rather hard on the Original Six franchise.

For openly questioning George Parros's ability to carry out the responsibilities as the NHL's department of player safety head, the Rangers have been tagged with a $250,000 fine from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

“Public comments of the nature issued by the Rangers that were personal in nature and demeaning of a League executive will not be tolerated," Bettman said in a statement. 

"While we don’t expect our Clubs to agree with every decision rendered by the Department of Player Safety, the extent to which the Rangers expressed their disagreement was unacceptable. It is terribly unfair to question George Parros’s professionalism and dedication to his role and the Department of Player Safety."

The Rangers were hit with a $250,000 fine for criticizing the NHL, $245,000 more than Tom Wilson received for slamming a man face first into the ice. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The Rangers were hit with a $250,000 fine for criticizing the NHL, $245,000 more than Tom Wilson received for slamming a man face first into the ice. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

What drew the ire of the Rangers, and presumably owner James Dolan, was Parros's ruling after Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson ran roughshod over several members of the Rangers in a wild melee at Madison Square Garden on Monday night. 

Wilson was fined $5,000 for delivering a sucker punch to the back of the head and shoulder of Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich, but went unpunished for throwing Artemi Panarin onto his head in a scuffle, and causing an injury that will ultimately force the Rangers star to miss the final week of the season.

Many fans and media members also disagreed with the ruling, seeing a clear example of an intent to injure from Wilson, who might have the most damning rap sheet in the entire NHL at the moment after countless discussions with player safety already.

Even before the ruling came down, the situation had proven costly to the Rangers and members of the executive team. In a decision that could be considered directly or loosely related to the incident, the organization dismissed its Hall of Fame president and general manager in a shock move Wednesday, bidding farewell to both John Davidson and Jeff Gorton.

It's believed that Davidson and Gorton were uninvolved in issuing the statement that earned the Rangers the hefty fine. 

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