Grant Paulsen tees off on NHL over Tom Wilson suspension

Chris Lingebach
October 04, 2018 - 6:11 pm

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

D.C. sports radio host Grant Paulsen teed off on the NHL for its 20-game suspension of Tom Wilson.

"Nobody should EVER be suspended for as long as Tom Wilson was yesterday for a hit within the confines of the play of hockey," Paulsen argued on 106.7 The Fan's 'Grant & Danny.'

JUNKIES: Wilson clearly a 'marked man'

Paulsen, in the run-up to the Capitals' season opener against Boston, reacted to the Wilson suspension on Twitter Wednesday.

Paulsen took to Twitter again during the game, after Bruins forward Brad Marchand picked a fight with Lars Eller, an unwilling participant with the Caps leading 7-0 in the third period.

On 106.7 The Fan Thursday morning, Paulsen established his argument more clearly, questioning why the league would choose to make an example of Wilson for making a hockey play, while on the same day ignoring Marchand targeting another player for a fight in a game that's effectively over.

"When a guy hits a player in the confines of the sport," Paulsen said. "Think football – receiver catching a pass in the secondary. Think hockey – I'm dangling with the puck... I'm shooting on net... I'm involved in the play... The game is happening... There was no whistle blown... We're playing hockey. It's a fast sport like football is. Violent, angry, big collisions are going to happen."

"Now if you want to suspend guys for those hits, National Hockey League, you go and do that," he said. "But in my opinion, nobody should EVER be suspended for as long as Tom Wilson was yesterday for a hit within the confines of the play of hockey. EVER.

"I don't care if it's the biggest bully on the Penguins. I don't care if it's Brad Marchand, who I would punch in the face if he was sitting next to us right now, because I think he is one of the biggest punks in all of sports. I don't care who it is. If you hit someone while hockey's being played, and you leave them lifeless on the ice for nine minutes with a concussion, you shouldn't miss a quarter of your season."

"That is my opinion. It's hockey. It's football," he continued. "When you blow someone up in the secondary – you want to eject someone? Cool. You want to suspend them for a game? I don't have to like that. Cool. You can't suspend him for four or five games, a quarter of their season, for a hit that took place while they're playing football. Tom Wilson is playing hockey when he's hitting these people. That's what he's doing.

"The hits that deserve 20-game suspensions are when someone takes a stick and bashes someone in the head like a goon. When someone away from the play completely sucker-punches someone in the back of the head. When someone takes a stick and hits the junk of a player from between their legs. Which Sidney Crosby has done by the way, all the Penguins fans yelling at me."

"Or smashing his head against the ice, by the way," Danny Rouhier chimed in. "Yeah."

"Absolutely. Those are dirtier things than any hit that will ever happen while hockey is being played," Paulsen said. "That is where I cannot compute in this argument with people who don't understand my stance. It's very, very simple. Is the game happening? Is it a fast game where guys are colliding?

"If that hit – I don't care how dirty you think it is – on a player with the puck, like what happened the other day, is viewed as less dirty than Brad Marchand running into the guy not trying to fight, and punching him in the face as many times as he can while someone's not trying to fight you. Which is breaking every rule, or unwritten rule, of hockey. If you don't understand that the non-Tom Wilson thing here is dirtier, you don't get a seat at my table."

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