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Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Double-Standard is Clear

Remember Chris Simon? Yeah, he's on the Minnesota Wild now, but while he was a New York Islander he helped add to his fun legacy by both using Ryan Hollweg like a batting tee and Jarkko Ruutu as a Dance Dance Revolution mat.

I get to mention that last incident because it elicited this response from NHL Discipline Lackey Colin Campbell:


Several factors were considered in imposing the longest suspension in NHL
history for an on-ice incident. While it was fortunate there was no serious
injury to Mr. Ruutu as a result of Simon's action, the deliberate act of kicking
an opponent with an exposed skate blade, especially where the opponent is in a
vulnerable position, is and always has been a repugnant and totally unacceptable
act in the game of hockey.

In addition, while the act itself was
extremely dangerous, the fact that this is the eighth incident requiring the
imposition of supplementary discipline on Simon compelled me to impose a very
severe penalty in this case. When a player repeatedly evidences the lack of
ability to control his actions and conducts himself in total disregard of the
rules, as well the health and safety of other players on the ice, each
subsequent incident is deserving of enhanced scrutiny and more severe
discipline.

This response serves not only the purpose of imposing
appropriate punishment for the player involved, but also the purpose of
deterring the player and all other players from engaging in similar conduct in
the future - hopefully creating a safer long-term work environment for all NHL
players.


I ask that you keep these words ringing through your head as I show you this.

That is Chris Pronger of the Anaheim Ducks, the darlings of the NHL, deliberately stomping on the Vancouver Canucks' Ryan Kesler with his skate in their game just last night. In case that sentence was too much to handle, here are the operative statements to keep in mind:

Chris Pronger
Anaheim Ducks
Deliberately
Stomping
On

Now that I've painted that clearly for you, the outrage from the Canucks and from Ryan Kesler was rather obvious:


"He stomped on me," Kesler told reporters after the game. "He got me on the
calf."

Again, our operative word here is:

Stomped

After Colin Campbell reviewed the incident, he followed through as how one would expect someone to on a repeat rule-breaking violent-hitting offender...

Chris Pronger Will Face No NHL Disciplinary Action for Stomp

Of course...why would the NHL suspend a guy they had their media gurus persistently sucking up to all last playoff season?

Wait, he was suspended twice during the playoffs last year for dirty hits? Once in the Western Finals and again in the Stanley Cup Finals? That can't be true! He's the best defenseman since Bobby Orr and Paul Coffey had a love child together with Scott Stevens! He's all parts fantasticness!

Wait a minute, what's this I read here?

Chris Pronger has been suspended seven different times before in his career? How is that possible!? I was told all playoffs long the last two seasons that Chris Pronger was the greatest thing to ever set foot on the ice that played the defensive position. This must be an egregious oversight.

After all, Chris Simon is the lowest form of low on the face of the hockey earth and he's been punished ├╝ber-severely multiple times because he's got a bad temper and a bad reputation and he's been suspended by the NHL eight different times! He's bad! Boo Chris Simon!

Folks, I don't know how many more times I need to stress the idiocy of those in charge of the NHL in all offices. I feel like I'm a broken record here sadly and I'd love... LOVE to talk more about the great things going on in the game (basically Alexander Ovechkin) but I can't ignore these stories. The NHL is finding new ways to make me hate being a professional hockey fan on a weekly and sometimes daily basis and that makes me sad. I love the game more than anything.

But this...this circus of errors, hypocracy and ignorance on all levels from the Commissioner's office to the Discipline office to the General Managers and Owners on down to the fans who have been duped over the last 10-15 years into thinking this brand of hockey is good. It's downright shameful and an absolute disgrace.

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