CM – George Parros: It might not be the best idea for a former Enforcer to lead the NHL’s Player Safety Division

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Perhaps having a former enforcer with 1,092 penalty minutes in just 474 career games in the NHL’s Player Safety Division isn’t the best idea.

The NHL was under fire even before they slapped Tom Wilson for $ 5,000. The request for a suspension came almost immediately for the repeat offender who had already knocked out a player with a high and hard hit this season. Brandon Carlo of the Boston Bruins was discussed by Wilson on March 5th and has played a total of three games since then. Wilson was suspended for 7 games which was a strong statement in my opinion, but apparently not strong enough.

Here we are today, and one of the NHL’s top stars in their largest US market made it for the rest of the season thanks to Wilson’s Body Slam. The New York Rangers were disappointed with George Parros’ decision not to suspend him for his actions against Artemi Panarin. They issued a statement last night calling for his resignation, which was positively received by many in the hockey world, aside from a handful of old hockey enforcers

When Parros issued Wilson’s ban on boarding Carlo, the NHL DOPS noted that he was « defenseless ». The explanation continued with this head-scratching statement: « While there are aspects of this hit that can circumvent the line between suspendable and non-suspendable, it is the entirety of circumstances that make this game worthy of additional discipline. »

For Parros, he seemed to be struggling with the decision and only suspending Wilson because the result of the hit was an injury. Although in Panarin’s case, the outcome of his injury didn’t matter. In a recent article in The Athletic, Rick Carpiniello reported that Parros would not suspend Wilson for the goal against Carlo. It wasn’t until Gary Bettman intervened that the suspension was lifted.

As we’ve heard, Parros didn’t even want to suspend Wilson because of the brain-damaging attack on Boston resident Brandon Carlo, who suffered mood swings and blurred vision from his concussion after being hospitalized by Wilson in March. Bettman didn’t like the look and ordered a suspension. So Wilson got seven games. Before that, he wasn’t even considered a repeat offender, as the CBA clears priors after a certain period of time. Just absurd.
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Brendan Shanahan was the first to head the NHL’s Player Safety Division when it was founded in 2011. A die-hard player with a penalty minute share, but he could also play the game skills. In essence, he was the perfect candidate. However, it was also seen as too harsh to discipline players for violations, but we are still a long way from that.

Unfortunately, Parros seems far too indulgent. Being a former player whose role in the NHL was primarily screwing it up and getting it is probably not the best candidate for this position. For all we know, his preference for those who play Tom Wilson’s brand of hockey is an issue. Enough for the Rangers to feel the need to issue a statement demanding his resignation.

Each person should be treated as an individual and judged on their own actions. But it is the actions or inaction of Parros that are being questioned. A look into the mindset of an old-school enforcer can be telling. A prime example is Kelly Chase’s reaction to the Rangers’ testimony. In a tweet about a minor incident between Sidney Crosby and Travis Konecny, he mocks the Rangers.

« The Flyers and Penguins will later issue an expiry statement on color commentators who use the term bumpers and WWE in evaluating these random minors, » joked Chase. « So somehow accuse NHL DoPS. » The former Bruiser with over 2000 PIMs also tagged the Rangers to call them out.

It is this mentality that makes sense when you want teams to do their own disciplinary action. However, this is no longer the ’90s and the NHL has rules preventing teams from hiring the likes of Kelly Chase. The NHL wants to get out of the game, but also has to deal with incidents like Wilson’s body slam and headshots.

You know it is really bad when former referee Paul Stewart points it out to you. « Blaming George Parros for the shortcomings of DOPS is like blaming Ronald McDonald for food quality at McDonald’s. » Stewart tweeted. « He’s a figurehead. For those who don’t know, in the NHL the acting division and DOPS are under the thumb of the director of hockey operations. » Those comments are probably more devastating than what the Rangers posted yesterday.

Simply put, the NHL needs to address this situation. Either speak to Parros and help him do his job better, or get a player more like Brendan Shanahan. It just can’t go on like this.

The @NHLFlyers and @penguins will later issue a statement on the expiry of color commentators who use the phrase stack drivers and WWE to judge these random minors. So somehow blame @NHLPlayerSafety @NYRangers https://t.co/tNpjLOFSCd

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Related title :
NHL- Rumors: Tom Wilson was almost not banned for Brandon Carlo hits
Report: George Parros did not want to suspend Tom Wilson for Brandon Carlo hit
George Parros: Maybe having a former Enforcer running the NHL’s Player Safety Division isn’t the best idea

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