The New York Rangers announced Tuesday that Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren are all done for the season. The Rangers have three games remaining, and are officially eliminated from playoff contention.
On Monday night, Panarin was tossed to the ice by Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson. Wilson had punched Pavel Buchnevich while he was face down on the ice. Wilson was fined $5,000 for the punch but not disciplined for throwing Panarin, who had come to his teammate’s defense. After the game, the Rangers said Panarin was “OK” but classified him as having a lower-body injury.
New York took umbrage to the fact Wilson was not suspended, believing he “crossed the line.” The team also issued a statement, part of which called for the removal of George Parros, the head of the NHL Department of Player Safety.
“A defenseless player in Panarin, in my opinion, with no helmet, a superstar in the league — I just think it’s a joke, to be honest with you,” Rangers center Ryan Strome said on Tuesday. “I know it’s not my responsibility to make decisions, but I just can’t believe that. I think it sends a bad message, in my opinion. I think everyone pretty much agrees with that. I just think that the league missed one here big time. It’s unfortunate our best player is out for the rest of the year.”
When asked if the league’s discipline was enough, Rangers coach David Quinn said: “Not at all.”
“To me, anybody in hockey, certainly in our organization, is very disappointed,” Quinn said. “Certainly thought it warranted a suspension, which is really disappointing. A line was crossed…[Panarin] didn’t have his helmet on, vulnerable, he got hurt. You know, to me, there was an awful lot there to suspend him.”
Panarin leads the team with 58 points in 42 games. He has already missed 11 games this season, as a combination of injuries and a personal leave in February. The 29-year-old was a finalist for the Hart Trophy as league MVP last season.
Trouba has been out for weeks with a broken thumb, while Lindgren suffered an upper-body injury last week.