Pronger gets eight-game suspension
I won't bring up the obvious disparity between Pronger's eight-game suspension and Chris Simon's 30-game ban for kicking. That's obvious. I won't mention that Pronger has a prior suspension for kicking.
To me, this suspension is way too short. Anaheim, comfortable in its playoff berth, gets Pronger back before the start of the post-season. Pronger's action was one of the worst that can happen in a game. I'm old enough to remember how North Americans reacted during the '72 Summit Series when a Russian kicked Gary Bergman.
I'm sure that NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell agrees that stomping or kicking an opponent with a metal blade is something that cannot be allowed. I'm certain of this.
These are Campbell's words ...
“While it was fortunate there was no serious injury to Mr. Ruutu as a result of Simon’s action, the deliberate act of kicking an opponent with an exposed skate blade, especially where the opponent is in a vulnerable position, is and always has been a repugnant and totally unacceptable act in the game of hockey.
“While the act itself was extremely dangerous, the fact that this is the eighth incident requiring the imposition of supplementary discipline on Simon compelled me to impose a very severe penalty in this case.”
the deliberate act of kicking an opponent with an exposed skate blade, especially where the opponent is in a vulnerable position, is and always has been a repugnant and totally unacceptable act in the game of hockey.
Sorry, I said I wouldn't bring up Chris Simon. But this was the eighth suspension for Pronger as well. It was just as dangerous of an act as Simon's. Why is an eight-game suspension sufficient for Pronger when Simon got 30? Heck, Simon had to go to counseling. Pronger is praised as a warrior.
I think the reason is that although using a skate blade as a weapon is an age-old no-no in hockey, there is something that's apparently a bigger sin ... sidelining a star player.