Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Simon, Pronger and Campbell - not a tasty soup

So before we get our first look at Kyle Okposo tonight I wanted to weigh in on the Pronger stomp and say that I agree with our man Chris Botta that the punishment didn't seem to fit the crime based on what Chris Simon got. But I'm not surprised in the least.

Yes, the actions were very similar. In fact, you could make the argument that Pronger's was worse in that, on the video, it looks like he makes two attempts at stomping on Ryan Kesler's leg, while Simon looked like he tried to get away with something on the way into the bench. But basically, they were the same -- identically illegal and offensive.

And while Pronger has his own disciplinary record and reputation, Simon's is longer and darker, and at the time he was coming off the long suspension. So to step on a guy so soon afterward called for a longer suspension, hence the 30 games. Should Pronger have gotten more? Sure -- 12 or 15 games, which would have included playoffs, seems more fair.

But here's where the real problem is -- Colin Campbell and how the NHL deals with discipline.

Having Campbell as judge, jury and executioner, in what is really a closed process, is just plain bad as policy. Having Campbell in charge only makes it worse because, from what I've seen, he is thick-headed and arrogant and probably not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Read Scott Burnside's take on the situation on ESPN.com. I don't agree that these things should be trials, but there is plenty of room for transparency and openness, which is the exact opposite of how discipline is currently meted out.

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