The verdict on the Chris Simon stick swinging incident is in and, surprise, surprise, the NHL has set a precedent with a 25 game suspension.
I fell out of my chair, and I wasn't even sitting down!
For once, the NHL has gotten it right. By setting the sentence high, all players are well aware of the deterent now.
Simon is done for the season, and the playoffs. Should the Islanders post season not extend beyond the total of 25 games, starting with their previous game and counting, the suspension rolls over into the 2007-08 season.
No player should confuse the message sent. This is what the league had to say today:
"The National Hockey League will not accept the use of a stick in the manner and fashion in which Mr. Simon used his Thursday night," said Colin Campbell, NHL senior executive vice-president and director of hockey operations, in a statement released by the league.
"As a consequence of his actions, Mr. Simon has forfeited the privilege of playing in an NHL game again this season, regardless of how many games the Islanders ultimately play."
Simon will forfeit a minimum of US$80,213.90, based on his US$1-million contract which expires at the end of the season. The money goes to the players' emergency assistance fund.
Now here is where things get curious. Will the league again show a double standard and punish Blues forward Doug Weight for his 2 hander aimed at Mike Komisarek's head last night?
Does Weight get off because Komisarek ducked just in time to avoid decapitation?
Watch this clip if you missed it from last night's highlights.
When I see this, the intent is clear to me. Will the league fold and treat Weight differently than Simon. Should the fact that contact wasn't made matter.
I see it like this - if someone fires a bullet and misses, isn't it still a crime?
There's often been a double standard for the treatment of star players (loosely used) versus the game's so called enforcers when it comes to dealing with suspensions and their length.
How will the league treat this one?