“An eight-game hiatus is too light considering the potential ramifications of a skate blade on the calf (ask Kevin Bieksa), but Chris Pronger didn’t deserve the same punishment as Chris Simon.”
When it comes to the eight game suspension of Chris Pronger for his skate stomp on Ryan Kesler, there’s no shortage of opinions on it.
Chris Simon got 30 games for his stomp of Jarkko Ruutu and says that Pronger got “star treatment” and, therefore, a light sentence.
NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell says that the two incidents are inherently different.
Both are right, and both are wrong.
Pronger did get more leeway because of the part of his resume that lists a Hart Trophy, a Norris Trophy and a Stanley Cup.
Given the disparity in punishments, it appears as though Campbell forgot to look at the part of Pronger’s history that includes seven previous suspensions totaling 14 games for everything from stick work to kicking to headshots. But Simon is wrong in declaring his situation to be the same as Pronger’s.
First of all, Simon was in his fourth game back from the then-longest suspension in NHL history when he decided to stomp on Ruutu’s foot as the two approached the bench. While Simon and Pronger both have track records, Simon’s is far worse.
The other big difference is that Pronger was engaged with Kesler at the time of the transgression; he first tried to free himself from a leg-lock before his emotions got the better of him. That doesn’t condone Pronger’s action; it just provides the context for the incident.
An eight-game hiatus is too light considering the potential ramifications of a skate blade on the calf (ask Kevin Bieksa), but Pronger didn’t deserve the same punishment as Simon.
Somewhere in the 15-game range seems appropriate to me considering that would all but eliminate Pronger from the rest of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs.
•Hats off to the Vancouver Giants for the way they handled Gordie Howe’s 80th birthday celebration on the weekend.
Ron Toigo and company held an intimate evening for Mr. Hockey and approximately 120 guests on Saturday night to pay tribute to a man that has transcended the generations with his contributions to the game.
In addition to honouring every photo request each received, Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne, esteemed hockey man Pat Quinn and Howe himself shared stories from yesteryear for the captivated crowd.
The Giants then held a pre-game ceremony that included a video tribute, an all-star cast of hockey legends and a massive eight-foot by four-foot cake for the more than 12,000 in attendance at the regular-season finale on Sunday. It was a classy salute to one of the classiest individuals to ever play professional sports.
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