NHL fines Washington Capitals’ Tom Wilson $5,000 for instigating massive brawl against New York Rangers
NHL 

The NHL Department of Player Safety fined Capitals forward Tom Wilson $5,000 after he set off a massive brawl Monday night during Washington's 6-3 victory against the New York Rangers.

The fine is the maximum allowable amount under the collective bargaining agreement, though there was no mention of any potential suspension for Wilson's role in instigating the fight.

The incident happened in the second period after Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek made a save. Several players jostled for position in the crease and Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich fell to the ice. Wilson punched Buchnevich in the back of the head while he was prone. Wilson followed that up by body-slamming Artemi Panarin, who had lost his helmet, to the ice as other players and referees got involved to break up the fight.

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Wilson received a 10-minute misconduct penalty and four minutes for roughing and, once he entered the penalty box, he flexed in a taunting gesture.

The league said the fine was for roughing Buchnevich.

"We all saw it, and there are lines that can't be crossed in this game," Rangers coach David Quinn said after the game. "To me, it's just zero respect for the game, in general. You get one of the star players in this league now, who could have got seriously, seriously hurt in that incident. … It happens time and time again with him, and it's just totally unnecessary."

After the fight, Panarin left the game and did not return with a lower-body injury. Quinn added after the game that Panarin was "OK" but that his leaving the game "was a big blow."

Wilson will be available for Wednesday's game at the Rangers.

This is just the latest run-in Wilson has had in his eight-year career in the NHL with the Department of Player Safety. In March, the league suspended him seven games after he slammed the Boston Bruins' Brandon Carlo into the boards, forcing the defenseman to spend a night in the hospital.

During the 2018-19 preseason, Wilson was suspended 20 games, though it was reduced to 14 upon a review by an independent arbitrator, for an illegal hit to the head of St. Louis Blues center Oskar Sundqvist. That marked his fourth suspension in 105 games.

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