Is a 30 game suspension for Simon enough?

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The NHL went easy on Chris Simon — in my eyes at least — suspending the Islanders forward for 30 games after he stepped on Pittsburgh’s Jarkko Ruutu on Saturday night.

Many of you have weighed in on the Simon issue, and some have even gone so far to say they don’t think what he did this time around was as bad as his vicious slash on Ryan Hollweg last March. But here’s the point: it doesn’t matter. Given the severity of his hit on Hollweg, Simon couldn’t afford to be guilty of much more than the occasional roughing call. For Colin Campbell to even have to hear the name Chris Simon after that is a sign the guy needs to be out of the game at least for a year.

And this isn’t even really about Simon, a troubled guy who many in hockey still like and respect. It’s about hockey, and the message you’re sending your own league and the rest of the sports world when you don’t deal with violence swiftly and harshly.

It’s not because of Chris Simon that the greatest game in the world is stuck in purgatory on Versus and still fighting for even a sliver of the mainstream attention.

But put it this way: he’s certainly not helping.

Meanwhile, the latest from Rangers practice. ..

  • As expected, everyone will make the trip to Minnesota and Colorado, but Sean Avery is definitely out for Thursday and Friday. Marcel Hossa appears to be headed back in the lineup, but we won’t know for sure until tomorrow.
  • Brendan Shanahan did not practice because he was resting.

    More later…

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    52 Comments

    1. I think the line of thinking that Campbell follows is the same idea of a double minor for a high-stick that draws blood vs. a high stick with no blood is just 2min.

      I think that if Ruutu missed any time b/c of it, the susp. would’ve been longer. Similar to Bertuzzi/Moore.

    2. The suspension should never take into consideration the injury resulting from the action. That is so wrong. The INTENT is what should matter. What are they waiting for? Maybe for Simon to kill someone out there?

    3. gbprucha. i agree. but using the example I sighted, it would make a high stick that grazes a sheild is as bad a one that takes out teeth, or an eye. Or if steve moore never missed a game.

      If you ask me, what simon did is as much intent to injure as what bertuzzi did.

    4. To me, with the Simon thing, a comparison can be made to baseball. What would the MLB do if a player assaulted another with a baseball bat? I think it’s safe to say it’d be more than a 30-game suspension.

    5. Should be banned for life. 2nd real serious incident, the guy is a danger to everyone he is around when he is on that ice. 30 games is weak.

    6. I agree with Beer Me, the league has a results-oriented way of looking at suspensions, which in my opinion is horrible.

    7. Not nearly long enough suspension. Simon should have gotten at least 50 games with a provision of 1 more strike and he’s out for good. He had time to premeditate what he did to Ruutu and he can’t hide behind the “I was concussed” defense like he did with Hollweg.

      I also agree with Sam, the lack of an injury doesn’t downplay the severity of the attack. It could have done a lot more damage than the stick to Hollweg. And he just got off the a long suspension a couple months ago…

    8. Personally I think Simon should NEVER be allowed to play again. Think about this not in terms of hockey, but in terms of employment anywhere… If you attack a co-worker viciously, you’re fired, plain and simple… now given, this isn’t an office, it’s hockey, and there is a degree of physicality involved, but there is a difference between physicality and assault… If you assault a co-worker, your gone, for obvious reasons, but also because if you were then to assault ANOTHER co-worker, the company could then be held liable for your actions, under the argument that they failed to provide a safe working environment by not removing an employee who clearly demonstrated dangerous behavior in the past. With just a suspension, what happens not if but WHEN he attacks someone else on the ice? The guy has been suspended 8 times, twice in one year for 25 games or more… What does a player have to do to get banned for life, slit someone’s throat with his skate?

    9. This incident wasn’t nearly as bad as the slash to Hollweg. 25 games for that was an absolute joke.

      However, because of that incident, he gets 30 for trying to hurt someone again.

      In the past I would have said that I’d be amazed if Simon ever played in the league again, just because no team would want a psychotic, no talent on the ice. But I remember the way Nolan fawns over Simon, and defends him despite his attempts to kill people. Seems like guys like Simon will always have a place on the Islanders. Shocking.

    10. This is why the nhl will never get a big fan base or a big tv deal. That 30 game suspension is a joke. If Simon’s skate gone
      6 inches higher he could have cut Rutuu’s ankle badly.

    11. The instigator rule is in play here as well. Jarko Ruttu runs around, TRYING to injure guys. Then when confronted he cowers. He could give a career ending head injury with his patented catch the guy with his head down checking. If Ruttu had to answer the bell, he wouldn’t do the things he does that gets guys so pissed off that they lose their heads. No excuse for Simon, but as long as the instigator rule is in effect, you will see more similarly inexcusable acts, then good toe-to-toe fights.

    12. I don’t think Chris Simon’s suspension has anything to do with the NHL being a top tier sport in this country. Do you know the scrubs in the NBA? And if you do, does it have any bearing on whether or not you watch the NBA? I didn’t think so.

      People in this country like offense which is why they really have never taken to soccer. They like the home run, the slam dunk, the hail Mary pass, etc. And they like SCORING in hockey which the NHL has been trying to promote for years now. Unfortunately even with all of the rule changes they’ve made it hasn’t made a very big difference. I honestly think the game won’t change until they decide to make the ice surfaces bigger- like Olympic size. They’ll never do this because this means less seating and therefore less $$. A bigger ice surface would be the ultimate answer to showcasing the “talent” of the NHL. Moving red lines, blue lines, space behindthe net, etc, is does not change the fact that there isn’t a lot of room to maneuver out there.

    13. Should be gone for life! wtf is this 30 games crap? What has to happen in order for the league to actually crack down? The Brass is to worried about drawing people in with the stupid new jerseys and dumb heated blades. People don’t want to see this crap in hockey

    14. The team plays it’d best and most complete game of the year and Hossa gets back in the lineup? I am sure it will be over Dawes or Hollweg(who played his best game of his Nhl career). Whatta bleeping joke much like the Simon suspension. Colin Campbell is as incompetant as it gets.

    15. tony – I think the larger ice surface could help the game too, the players have gotten so much bigger. But I really lean towards the size of the goalie equipment as the MAIN problem with scoring.

    16. Simon should have gotten the rest of the year off. He should have been suspended long ago for having the ultimate mullet back when he was with the Caps.

    17. That was as complete as a game the team has played all year. It was 60 minutes of effort and extra effort. It was the Betts line completely shutting down Cindy Crosby. The Betts line had a better forecheck and even as many scoring chance as Crosby. Hollweg played a fantastic game. Hollweg was all over the place throwing massive hits, driving to the net. I believe he drew three penalties on his own. The ten minute misconduct was an absolute joke imo. The defense was as good as it has been all year. They stood up at the line made good passes. Rozsival who has stunk this year was terrific moving the puck and for once even looked competant on the pp. The Girardi-Tyutin pair that had a hiccup lately was back to their steady selves. Girardi threw the bodfy and moved the puck well all night long. Tyutin threw some nice hipchecks as well. Strudwick even made a nice play or two. The best part in the game and going forward was the way the top line played. Gomez was flying all night long and Jagr was strong as heck on the puck. Straka was his usual dynamic self retrieving pucks and driving to the net. I would say the change in chemistry within Gomez and Jagr was because Gomez is on top of his game now and because they’ve got Straka instead of Hossa flanking em. The pk was terrific as always. Betts imo is the best pking forward in the Nhl. Lundqvist made some great saves in the first two periods but for the most part he could have taken a nap. Lundqvist was very sharp in the third to his credit. Drury and Shanahan didn’t look to have much chemistry last nioght they did play well on the pk. Dawes didn’t create much offense but he was solid away from the puck and threw the body. I am hoping he’ll get a fair shake this time. Dubinsky was much more comfortable and combative on the third line. Prucha had a hop in his step. Callahan though was invisible again. Imo his knee is not 100% he’s best off to be sent to Hartford to get 20 minutes a night and rehab his knee once Avery returns. Very encouring win again a bad team who;s defense and goaltending are atricious and the young forwards don’t backcheck. It will be a much tougher test the next three. They need the same effort the got last night and more.

    18. good thing Simon didn’t try that with Crosbaby, daddy Mario & uncle buttman would have asked for the chair.

    19. Simon should be gone for good after these incidents. Not that I think this has anything to do with hockey’s place in the country; most non-fans probably don’t know this happened and if they happened to catch a second’s coverage of it somewhere, it probably went in one ear and out the other.

      Also, I wonder if some people in hockey are hesitant to write off Simon because there’s an element of “there but for the grace of god go i.” It’s a violent sport and there’s always the possibility of losing your sh-t. And I’m by no means saying I understand it or condone it, but even I have wondered if I played hockey whether I could always control the adrenaline and aggression that is demanded over the course of a pee-wee through pro career. And, yes, I know most players do control that, but it can’t always be easy.

      And don’t kid yourself — if baseball (or your own job) included fighting, checking, elbowing, cross-checking, trash-talking, etc. and those guys had bats in their hands while all that was happening, you’d have seen a few more rage incidents (and that’s without ‘roids).

    20. c’mon guys chris got off easy because it was hollweg’s fault he did that to ruutu. when talking with Soupie Chris told him he still has concussion issues and Ryan is to blame for this incident too.

      Bruce Driver better watch out this spring in the beer/mens league.

    21. GRAVES 9

      I know, Hollweg got 10 minutes for getting himself boarded. What a load of fuggin crap. I guess if his neck broke then NYR would go down a man.

      But i loved it. That was the first game in a looooong time, where i actually was excited to see Hollywood play. He has’nt been doing that since early last season. In fact one Renney told him, that he has a good shot and can provide offense, thats when he stopped doing his job.

      Its about time Renney told him what his real job is. Now he’s probably gonna wait till mid way through the 08 – 09 season to tell Orr that he can fight.

      Anyway, thats what i wanna see from Hollweg every game.

      Lol, and how about Cindy Crosby trying to pick a fight with the smallest guy in the league. Lol Dawes probably woulda mugged the guy.

    22. Simon probably gave that freak Colin Campbell a bj, to let him off easy.

      Campbell is a moron. Plain and simple.

      Ever since the Simon / Hollweg incident, there has been a shitload of suspensions, including 2 that had 20 + games in them, and now this crap.

      Its a little obvious that he should be gone for the year. But nooo, campbell kisses his ass and gives him 30. Pathetic !

    23. Graves,
      I agree with almost everything.
      I thought Callahan was definitely visable especially in the first 2 periods. He was physical and played well. I think the Drury line did play well but was overshadowed by the dominance of the 1st line.
      I think Valli could have gotten a shut-out last night (forgive me for saying it but other than maybe 2-3 good scoring chances the Pens were silent.

    24. Great game last night! Off the topic…Sam, I heard Espo talking to a caller on XM yesterday about a possible trade. The guy said there is a rumor floating around that has the Rangers sending Drury to Ottawa for Redden. Espo said that it sounds reasonable. Any truth to this? I don’t think they should let Drury go, let alone to a possible playoff opponent. If he hadn’t been on Buffalo last year the Rangers might have taken that series. He’s always at his best in the playoffs. The guys on “In the Slot” keep saying that the Rangers weakness is defense. I watch every game, and that’s not the way I see it. What are your thoughts?

    25. This is from Dan Pollards blog on TSN.CA
      Does anyone recall this last night???

      “I hope the league looks at the tape of the Rangers-Penguins game to watch Ryan Hollweg try to stuff his stick up inside the shield of Tyler Kennedy. Nail that stuff as it happens and hopefully we avoid the Simon type explosions in the future.”

    26. I hope they don’t get rid of Drury. I look forward to watching him in the playoffs. I know Redden is good but come playoff time, I think I’d prefer Drury.
      Did any of you guys read Stan’s Blog on last nights game.
      http://blogs.msg.com/gameon/stan_fischler/index.html
      Staal for the Calder Trophy. I agree he has been impressive and is getting better everyday. His play on Crosby last night was awesome.
      What do you all think?

    27. Hey – I’d love to see Staal win it, but at this point I think he’s about 4th in line. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Toby Enstrom I think are ahead of him at THIS point. But and injury to any of them could take them out of the running all together. I think even a nomination for Staal would be huge. My pick so far is Kane, partially caused I picked him real late in my fantasy draft. 31pts…nice.

    28. At this point, Toews would win it. I would love for Staal to win it as well, but he’d have a better chance at the Calder if he had offensive numbers.. that’s what the league notices more sadly.. we need him to be a shutdown d-man.

    29. You have to be an offensive defenseman to win that award. Defense is underrated until you’ve been in the league for 15 years and then people finally say things like “Wow, that guy has been doing this FOREVER! he MUST be good”. See Chris Chelios. Most defensemen get notoriety from scoring or some facet of offense (Leetch, MacInnis, Bourque, etc).

    30. BEER ME

      I didnt see anything like that last night.

      Dan Pollard is a fuggin retard. Whether that happened or not, what the league should take a look at is a clean hit thrown by Hollweg, and watch Kennedy board Hollweg for revenge.

      Kennedy is a piece of shit, that was clear intention to injure, i dont blame Hollweg for the way he acted.

      Actually come to think of it, maybe thats why Hollweg got 10 minutes. Because he used his stick that way, but then again i doubt it, cause if he did do something like that then im sure he’d get a minor for it.

      Hopefully the Sabs can pull off a win tonight. Last night was great, the Flyers blow a two goal lead and lose to the Yotes in regulation, the Devs get shut out for the 7th time, and the Pens get shut out for the first time, adn more importantly, NYR wins.

    31. I was reading on NHL.com that Hank said after the game, that during the final 20 seconds he was getting a little emotional, cause his dad was in surgery.

      Did he miss the Yotes game because of his dad being sick or something, or was it actually the flu?

    32. There’s no way Staal gets a nomination for the Calder. It would be cool but there are a few other D men that are putting up numbers like Enstrom, and Eric Johnson, then a few rookie fowards who’s doing really good, then you have Carey Price who is doign well, goaltending for the Habs. Right now he is a shut down guy, and im completely happy with that, he will probably find his offense at some point but i sure as shit wont complain about how he’s playing.

      Right now, in my opinion, he’s everything that i expected him to be, but he is still surprising me. Hopefully Sauer, and Sanguinetti will turn out like him.

      Id love Staal to be the shut down D man, Sauer to be the physical D man, and Sanguinetti to be the offensive D man. We’d get the best of all 3 world’s.

      BTW

      The NHL decided not to suspend Koivu for a cross check to the back of a Panthers head, during last nights game, which he got a 5 minute penalty for.

      3 times todays, i heard about something, the Simon 30 games, the 2 games for Adams, and now this. Obviously Simon isnt helping he sport. Its pretty sickening the way this season is turning out, alot of dirty plays, and cheap shots.

      At some point you gonna have to sacrifice a player and give him a major suspension to wake up the players and make sure they dont do anything like whats happened. That sacrifice could have been Simon, but instead they let him off easy.

      He must still be in pain over that concussion from March.

    33. I agree with Jeff on this one – Simon probably should have been given closer to half a season for the attack on Hollweg, meaning this would be more than that. Campbell set too low of a precedent with the first one, and since this I guess isn’t as bad, it’s only a handful more games. I can’t see how Wang, Snow, and Nolan can live with themselves to put this guy back out there though.

      graves9 – Great post, until saying Callahan was invisible. I definitely noticed him a couple time throwing the body, but, in noticing Dubinsky a lot less than before, I realized it’s tough to notice the third line at all. I think when the Crosby and Betts lines were out there together, the puck was in the Penguins’ zone more than the Rangers’ zone.

      I couldn’t believe the two sequences that led to Hollweg penalties – first a Penguin starts throwing punches around the crease and Hollweg gets the only minor, then he gets a 10-minute misconduct without receiving an actual penalty. I love how they make up things to help out the dear Crosguins.

      I love how even the announcers are more relaxed when the team is doing well and up in the game. They were sure having a good time last night, joking about popping champagne for a three-goal lead.

      Hopefully we can out-Lemaire the Wild on Thursday. This game was a good warm-up because the Wild have terrific goaltenders and defense.

    34. SPIDERPIG

      Lol yeah i was cracking up when Sam and Joe were all happy about the lead.

      When NYR is losing bad, Sam, Joe, Al, and John fight over trivia like school girls over guys.

      I personally think Joe is turning out to be really funny. I didnt enjoy hearing him last season until late, because it took a while to get used to him, but now i think he’s pretty damn hilarious. He acts like a kid, and he’s the biggest instigator. When Sam is away doing football, he tries to screw him out of points, then he goes around and tells Sam how bad John, Al, and Bob treat him. Lol good stuff.

    35. Joe is hilarious at times. and for some reason I think its histerical when every game within the first five minutes Sam says “The Rangers are skating really well night”

    36. ORR..Talented Mr. Colton Douglas Orr : I think they gave Hollweg that 10 to get him off the ice for the rest of the game….they do that alot towrds the end of a game…give matching penalties to players who they dont want to have to deal with in a game that is all but over…I dont like it myself, but you will see it from time to time that role players who scrap and stir things up will get some crazy 10 min misconduct or a double minor with 3 min left, or they will give out fighting majors for a scuffle to like Orr and another goon with 4 min left…itas just so they dont have to watch them go at it every whistle.

    37. I did not see the Simon incident in full. I saw the end of the clip with him bringing his skate down on Ruutu, not what occurred before hand.

      Either way, two incidents like this in less than one year and I would think he would be done for good. 30 games is a long time and maybe the league told the Islanders never to have him play again, let’s see if Simon ever laces em up again in the NHL.

      As far as our team, I’m almost to the point of being fed up. We have no offense, no PP, and have no toughness or physical play without Avery. And no team can rely solely on one player and last.

      We need more offense, more sense of urgency with the puck. I want to watch our players play the game, not sit back and play not to lose. Sorry, these guys are hockey players, let em play, don’t hold em back.

      I would rather enjoy watching my team play uptempo hockey and the other team beat us with better goaltending and better hockey, than watch my team play the trap and chip the puck into the other teams zone as opposed to carrying it in and going to the net.

    38. Personalli I couldn’t care less how they do it. The defensive approach is what wins in the playoffs, so perfecting that during the year is worth not winning the #1 seed or the President’s Trophy. So far the Rangers are 10-4 against the Atlantic – at that pace they’ll easily win the division.

    39. Doodie Machetto on

      Simon should be banned from the NHL. If Theo Fleury gets blackballed for drinking and being a jerk, there’s no reason why Simon should still be around. Period. If the Isles ever bring him back, they’re even more of a joke than Campbell. Maybe it’ll be Teddy Nolan showing sympathy for his Native brother, or maybe him having sympathy for being blackballed, as aresult of banging Hasek’s wife. That whole club is shit. God I hate the Islanders and I REALLY hate Simon.

      The only good thing I’ll say about him is he brought us Betts and Greg Moore.

      Furthermore, I don’t know why the NHLPA hasn’t taken some action here. They should establish their own system for dealing with these sorts of things when their members intend to injure their other members. They should expel them from the union, thus banning them from being eligible in the NHL (because no owner would sign a nonunion player and face a strike). When will players start respecting each other? Will it take an actual on-ice death?

    40. They need to start throwing out some proper bans, not games but months or a year or two. Its the only way they’ll clean the game up and prevent some of the bad press from this season. It would also make those Flyer goons think about their head-checking.
      This is his second attempt to seriously injure a player on the ice in 12 months.
      This kind of offence is deliberate and pre-meditated. Simon needs to suspended for one-year or for the rest of the season at least.
      I thought the head-checking done by the Flyers earlier in the season was bad, but Simon is in a league of his own.

    41. Peter – I spoke about that situation recently also, and I agree. Only time will tell if they can learn it well enough by april.

      Doodie – good point about the NHLPA (not) stepping in.

    42. I dare to think it’s political and has to something to do with “racial profiling”. The ruling could be different should Simon be someone else but Native Canadian. In other words he was given a break cause he is an Indian. I’m ok with it. The favor is not that huge anyway.

    43. No Boogard in the lineup for the Wild. he’s been out for a while now with back problems. So we won’t get to see Orr test himself vs. one of the leagues best fighters. Also, keep an eye out for the new kid Varos. He’s been playing on the top line with Gaborik. Big & tough, good hitter-and likes to a lot, with offensive skills.

    44. the rangers hae made about 4 mistakes and they all have found the back of there net..

      the jagr 2 giveaways in his won zone.

      the Prucha receive elbow bench minor..

      the Drury crosscheck in the back no call(the puck was no where near him), and who remembers the 4th.

      But they are not very tough as a team.. I do not mean fight I mean tough and the problem is there 4th line cannot skate so if you are down in the score you cannot play them cause they cannot do almost anything..

      the refs tonight suck, 2 unsportmanlike penalties.. screw the officials.. and the Prucha hit was an elbow…..

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