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Couch: As Long As Goons Like Tom Wilson Roam Free, NHL Player Safety Will Remain A Joke

This is going to get really ugly tonight at Madison Square Garden. By that, I mean, hockey-beautiful. It pretty much has to now, after what the NHL didn’t do. In the rematch today, teeth, blood, and god knows what body parts are going to fly. Who knows what the New York Rangers are going to do to the Washington Capitals’ Tom Wilson? Or maybe he’ll take the entire Rangers team down by himself? (My money is on Wilson.) Who knows what the Rangers fans are going to throw. Hockey is about to have a moment tonight, its first moment of the year. Its last one, too. This is one of those too-much-air-in-the-balloon moments. Tonight, ka-boom!  It’s the NHL’s fault. What do you expect when you create a serious-sounding Department of Player Safety to police things, and the guy you put in charge is an ex-goon who went on to sell t-shirts that said, “Make Hockey Violent Again’’? On Monday, Wilson, a dinosaur goon who can also score goals, pushed New York’s Pavel Buchnevich down, face first, into the ice, then punched him in the back of the head. New York star Artemi Panarin then jumped on Wilson’s back, and Wilson […]

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Written by Greg Couch

Greg earned the 2007 Peter Lisagor Award as the best sports columnist in the Chicagoland area for his work with the Chicago Sun-Times, where he started as a college football writer in 1997 before becoming a general columnist in 2003. He also won a Lisagor in 2016 for his commentary in RollingStone.com and The Guardian.

Couch penned articles and columns for CNN.com/Bleacher Report, AOL Fanhouse, and The Sporting News and contributed as a writer and on-air analyst for FoxSports.com and Fox Sports 1 TV. In his journalistic roles, Couch has covered the grandest stages of tennis from Wimbledon to the Olympics, among numerous national and international sporting spectacles. He also won first place awards from the U.S. Tennis Writers Association for his event coverage and column writing on the sport in 2010.