By Ian Oland
Months after the 2020-21 season ended, Tom Wilson remains at the top of the New York Rangers’ mind.
During Barclay Goodrow’s introductory press conference on Friday, the Rangers’ new fight-y, grinding forward predicted that New York’s Opening Night game against the Washington Capitals “should be interesting.”
The Capitals and Rangers ended the 2020-21 season with line brawls in consecutive games.
“Especially a player like I am, I’m drawn to those kind of situations,” Goodrow said according to the New York Post’s Mollie Walker. “Opening night should be interesting… I’m excited to jump into a rivalry and just get right into the heat of things.”
According to Hockey Fights, Goodrow has dropped the gloves 20 times in his career, including once against the Washington Capitals in 2017 – a tilt versus Alex Chiasson.
The Rangers acquired the rights to Goodrow from the cash-strapped Tampa Bay Lightning on July 17 for a seventh-round pick. After an NHL roster freeze lifted on Thursday, New York announced it had signed Goodrow to a six-year deal, $21.85 million deal worth $3.64 per season.
Goodrow won consecutive Stanley Cups with the Tampa Lightning after being acquired at the 2020 trade deadline from the San Jose Sharks.
everything you need to know about what Barclay Goodrow meant to this organization in a 14 second video: pic.twitter.com/KHK5jegcsU
— chris✌🏼 (@sonohedman) July 17, 2021
The Rangers’ remake can ultimately be traced back to May 3 when Tom Wilson’s antics led to a line-brawl between the two teams. Wilson punched Pavel Buchnevich while he was face down on the ice and rag-dolled Artemi Panarin, taunting the Rangers as big tough guys from the penalty box.
After Tom avoided suspension from the NHL, the Rangers criticized the league and called Wilson’s role in the melee “a horrifying act of violence.”
During the teams’ rematch two days later, there was a line brawl when the puck was dropped to start the game. All in all, there were six fights in the first period and the clubs combined for 100 penalty minutes.
After the season, the Rangers cleaned house, firing president John Davidson, GM Jeff Gorton, and head coach David Quinn and his three assistants. Basically, Tom basically broke up the team.
After Goodrow’s press conference, Wilson went viral on Twitter.
Tom Wilson is incredible because he'll end up trending on Twitter sometimes simply for just for existing. pic.twitter.com/eIMaAuUqa9
— RMNB (@russianmachine) July 23, 2021
The Capitals and Rangers will renew their rivalry on Wednesday, October 13. If it wasn’t already a must-watch, now it most certainly is.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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