JUN 19
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KEVIN BIEKSA BELIEVES THE NHL GOT IT RIGHT WITH THE DECISION NOT TO SUSPEND TOM WILSON

MAY 9, 2021  (10H15)      MIKE ARMENTI
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It was a heated debate during Saturday's edition of Hockey Night in Canada, as Kevin Bieksa went against the grain on the panel, defending the league's decision not to suspend Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson for his exchanges with Buchnevich, Panarin on Monday.

Bieksa was the lone member of the panel who believed that the league made the correct decision in the fallout of the Wilson incident, arguing a somewhat compelling case, while Kelly Hrudy, Jennifer Botterill and host Ron MacLean held firm to the fact that Wilson's actions could have led to a profoundly different outcome had Panarin's head struck the ice surface in the now infamous scrum.

"The Panarin one was a little excessive" Bieksa acknowledged to his colleagues, prior to getting to the meat of the message. "I think there's no honor in him doing that to a guy like Panarin because of the mismatch. I still don't think the actions and what he actually did - not what he almost did - warrants a suspension... If he smashed his head off the ice yeah throw the guy out of the game, but he didn't.

"I think I've been in more aggressive pillow fights before, guys, and I don't think the league needed to step in here.. but I was golfing with Brad May yesterday and he made another good point, we were talking about this.. Just because Panarin is a skill guy and Buchnevich is a skill guy they don't get a free pass in these scrums. You don't get to jump on a guy's back like a spider monkey and have no repercussions. I think Wilson went overboard there but I also think it goes both ways."

Bieksa believes that the real issue is in New York is a personnel issue and that they lack the type of presence on the bench to deter players like Wilson from taking liberties on their skilled players. He feels as though a change needs to be made to the structure of the team, as both Mark Messier and Chris Drury alluded to earlier this week, to make guys think twice about mixing it up with their top guys.

"Who cares about the suspension? Your best player is gone for the rest of the season, so would a two game suspension to Wilson really make you feel that much better?

"I think this is an internal organizational question where "what does our team look like? How are we protecting Panarin and [Buchnevich]? What deterrents are there for guys like Tom Wilson?" There's none in New York, so who cares about the suspension and what George Parros gives? Your players are still going to be subjected to this kind of treatment, unless you make a change in your organization."

Bieksa received considerable push-back on his views by both Hrudy and Botterill during the segment, with the main area of focus in Botterill's rebuttal being the need for the game to evolve past these dangerous types of exchanges.

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NHL STATS
PLAYOFFS
2020-2021GPGAPTS
NIKITA KUCHEROV
1451823
NATHAN MACKINNON
108715
DAVID PASTRNAK
117815
BRAYDEN POINT
1411415
VICTOR HEDMAN
1411314
STEVEN STAMKOS
145914
MIKKO RANTANEN
105813
GABRIEL LANDESKOG
104913
ALEXANDER KILLORN
146713
JEAN-GABRIEL PAGEAU
1531013
WILLIAM KARLSSON
164913
BRAD MARCHAND
118412
CHARLIE MCAVOY
1111112
TYLER TOFFOLI
145712
JOSH BAILEY
155712
SEBASTIAN AHO
116511
BROCK NELSON
157411
MATHEW BARZAL
155611
ANTHONY BEAUVILLIER
154711
ALEX PIETRANGELO
+1
164711
  COMPLETE STATS
NHL STATS
YESTERDAY
JUNE 18, 2021 G A PTS
JOSH ANDERSON
2 - 2
COLE CAUFIELD
1 - 1
ALEX PIETRANGELO
1 - 1
NICOLAS ROY
1 - 1
PAUL BYRON
- 1 1
JESPERI KOTKANIEMI
- 1 1
TOMAS NOSEK
- 1 1
MAX PACIORETTY
- 1 1
NICK SUZUKI
- 1 1
JOEL ARMIA
- - -
  COMPLETE RESULTS