Friday, March 14, 2008

This "Joke" Isn't Funny Anymore

Colin Campbell, the NHL's Discipline Czar, is an utter joke.

There, I've said it.

Chris Pronger, All Star defenseman for the Stanley Cup defending Anaheim Ducks, stomps on the leg of Vancouver's Ryan Kesler during a game. Here is the videoclip:

As NHL fans may well recall, Chris Simon of the Minnesota Wild engaged in a similar incident earlier this year with Pittsburgh's Jaarko Ruutu. His sentence was a 30 game suspension. Campbell took into account several factors to determine the length of the suspension: Intent to injure, any injury that resulted from the action and prior record of offenses. His ban of Simon was record setting and largely deserved.

Now we come to case of Pronger. Allow me to play Discipline Czar for a moment. I will utilize the same criteria as Campbell used to judge Simon.

1. The intent to injure Kesler in a premeditated fashion is not clear, so I'll cut Pronger a break there. Was there still intent to injure in the heat of the moment? I'd say there is a definitive stomping motion taking place. So , let's call it poor decision making on Pronger's part and move on.

2. Was there any injury resulting from the action? As in the Simon case, no, there was not. Therefore, that cannot weigh too heavily upon my judgement.

3. Does Chris Pronger have a prior record of suspensions? You bet he does. In fact, he has been suspended SEVEN times in his career for on-ice incidents.

So, in my assumed role as NHL Discipline Czar, I've weighed all the evidence and now hand down my sentence: 15 games. My rationale? Even though Pronger's incident does not appear to be premeditated like Simon's was, a player must be held accountable for his actions.

Campbell's real-life sentence? Nothing. Not ONE single game.

What message does the man they call "Soupy" deliver here? It's okay to stomp on another player as long as it happened in the heat of battle? There is one set of rules for enforcers and marginal players (Simon, Jesse Boulerice, Steve Downie...etc) and another for All-Stars?

I'm not even going to dignify the official NHL party line that there "wasn't enough video evidence to make a determination." Maybe they ought to simply look at the same Youtube clip I've provided here.

Campbell has shown that he has no problem handing out lengthy suspensions for violent acts that resulted in injuries (the aforementioned Boulerice and Downie incidents as well as Scott Hartnell....hmmm....all these players are Philadelphia Flyers....Coincidence?) What he has now also shown is that he is spineless when it comes to allocating the same punishments to superstars of the league.

He ought to be immediately removed from office. The league has entrusted their reputation to this weak little excuse for a man and I, for one, am sick of the bias he has flagrantly exhibited.

Campbell Must Go!

The joke is now old.

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