Friday, December 21, 2007

Time to flush the turd

The NHL can't catch a break. Every story with any staying power about the NHL is negative, such as the gambling ring involving Rick Tocchet and Wayne Gretzky's wife, or the various acts of violence that draw suspensions of 20 games or more. Raging alcoholic and power forward Chris Simon has Beamoned his own record of longest suspension (25 games) with a 30 game suspension for trying to slice Jarkko Ruutu's Achilles with his skate. I don't care how silly that guy's name looks in print, trying to cut him with a blade is absolutely the cheapest shot I've ever seen in my 20 years of following hockey (and I've seen many), and Chris Simon should immediately be banned by the NHL.

Thirty games? Who gives a shit? That's the equivalent of six games in the NFL. That's a steroid suspension and a half. I'm glad that American sports have cracked down on performance enhancers, but going after someone on the ice with a deadly weapon is far more damaging to the sport. If the NHL gave him a lifetime suspension it would be at least somewhat positive press, because they would be showing some backbone. It's like politics - no one has ever lost votes for being too tough on crime. Last year Albert Haynesworth dragged his cleat over the exposed face of Andre Gurode, earning a five game suspension. Granted, this was a more lenient penalty that what Simon received, but it was a less egregious crime. There's attempting to hurt and then there's attempting to disable.

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