Chris Simon’s 30-game suspension may be the longest in NHL history, but it’s not long enough. Despite the fact everyone who knows Simon vouches for his character, he is a repeat offender who has obviously not learned enough from the past discipline handed down by the league.
Fresh off a 25-game suspension from last season, he commits an act that is unacceptable and inexcusable by even his own admission. If the average Joe with a lengthy rap sheet served five years in jail for aggravated assault and then committed manslaughter while on probation, should his next sentence be only six years?
I’m comparing apples and oranges given the severity of the acts, but the principle is the same.
Whether in the justice system of society or the NHL, punishment is supposedly doled out not only as a consequence of past actions, but also in order to prevent future incidents. Simon’s skate stomp on Jarkko Ruutu was a clear slap in the face of the NHL after being afforded yet another opportunity to prove he’d grown. Colin Campbell’s response might make history, but it feels more like a slap on the wrist.
•Roberto Luongo’s ability to play his best when adversity exists is uncanny.
Last January, Luongo took a puck in the throat at practice and spent the night in hospital. Not only did he play the next night, but he shut out the Montreal Canadiens.
After losing the Hart Trophy to Sidney Crosby last year, Luongo stymied Sid the Kid on a pair of breakaways in sudden death situations just 10 days ago. Tuesday, in his first game back from a rib injury, he blanked the New Jersey Devils in his first head-to-head meeting with Martin Brodeur since finishing second to Brodeur in Vezina voting last season. Sounds like a guy with something to prove?
It makes you wonder just how much better Luongo might get.
•Word on the street is that Jacques Chapdelaine is back in black and orange, despite no official announcement. Wally Buono will wait until the new year to make it public, but my sources say the Lions have Chapdelaine back in the den and he’ll resume his duties as offensive co-ordinator after spending a year in Edmonton with the Eskimos.
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