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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pronger gets eight-game suspension

For stomping on Ryan Kesler's calf with his skate, Anaheim defenseman Chris Pronger got an eight-game suspension, Saturday. The interest to Red Wings fans is obvious. Anaheim is a big challenger for the Western Conference title and the defending Stanley Cup champion. Pronger's previous suspension -- his seventh of eight in his career -- was for slamming Tomas Holmstrom's head into the glass during the Western Conference final last spring.
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.


Anonymous Booster said...

Classic double standard...maybe the NHL should take a page from the NFL (America's most profitable and successful sport) and make an example of it's star players (Michael Vick) that can't behave instead of slapping them on the wrist. If I were Chris Simon I would sue the league for discrimination.

March 15, 2008 at 4:22 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone needs to take Pronger out and teach him a lesson. I would love for this bum to be out of the league for good.
He should of gotten the same as Simon-30games! This is what makes the NHL a joke.....

March 15, 2008 at 4:38 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say, after seeing the video on YouTube, that it is absolutely disgusting. I'd go as far as saying that it is worse than the Simon incident. Pronger lifts his leg about a foot off the ice and stomps THREE times on Kessler.
The guy is a loose canon and should be suspended for the rest of the season and playoffs. Not only are the referees destroying our game but so is the NHL office.

March 15, 2008 at 6:24 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's worth noting that Kesler was actively trying to trip Pronger while this was happening. He wasn't in a vulnerable position when the two of them fell down. He was in a vulnerable position once he decided he didn't want to let Pronger skate back into the play. Why didn't Kesler make an attempt to get up? Why did Kesler try to trap Pronger's ankle between his legs? If Kesler rolls the wrong way, he could easily break Pronger's ankle. I can see why Pronger would be frustrated. I think you're right when you suggest that Pronger's status as a star-player had an impact on his suspension, but I don't think that he should have been given the same suspension as Chris Simon. Ruutu had no reason to expect a skate coming down on him. Kesler was being a complete ass.

March 15, 2008 at 6:36 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pronger slamming a red wing was then followed by his attempt to take off Dean Macammond's head in the stanley cup finals. for which he again received only a one game suspension. I would have though a hockey writer would know this.
Other than that your comments are bang on.

March 15, 2008 at 8:46 PM 
Anonymous Zac said...

Thank You!

Pronger is a dirty player. Of course so is Simon. This goes to show you the complete double-standard here.

At least for Campbell, Burke, and the Ducks' sake Pronger will rested for the playoffs.

What a JOKE!

March 15, 2008 at 10:56 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pronger is covered in Bettman teflon didn't you know that??? The playoffs last year should have taught you that lesson. Pronger sent two players to the hospital and recieved two one game suspensions, that is fair!! Right???!!?? Dean McCammond was sent into orbit with the vicious elbow that Pronger threw in the finals and Tomas Holmstrom was a nanosecond from death after being checked by Pronger!!!

March 18, 2008 at 11:41 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pronger has always been a whipmering simp who heads for the bhench after he commits one of his hit and run jobs. I hate Chris Pronger more than any modern day player and the fact that his dirty, greasy name violates the Stanley Cup make me sick to my stomach. 8 games? What a joke. If Simon got 30, Pronger should have gotten 30.

March 19, 2008 at 4:27 PM 

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