Pronger gets eight games
The National Hockey League has handed Anaheim Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger an eight-game suspension for stomping on Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler in a game Wednesday night.
Until the league will suspend stars, and even just 'good' players, in these kind of incidents, the crackdown means diddly. ... It's really only a matter of time before a big name gets caught.— me, Oct. 16, 2007
I suppose the only argument you can make to justify the differing length in the bans to Pronger and Chris Simon is that one spends an awful lot more time on the ice than the other. Eight games without Pronger could be as many as 240 minutes missed on the ice; 30 games without Simon is probably just more than 300.
This is the problem with throwing the book at fringe players; how then do you react when a very similar action is taken by one of your stars?
Eight games is a lot for Pronger to miss; eight games is probably the right call.
UPDATE "I'd like to apologize to Ryan Kesler, the Vancouver Canucks, my teammates and the National Hockey League for my actions last Wednesday night," said Pronger. "While I did not intend to injure Ryan, I respect the league's decision on this matter and look forward to returning to the ice and leading my teammates into the playoffs."
"We understand the NHL's determination to reduce skate-blade incidents and accept the process and Mr. Campbell’s judgment," said Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke. "We also stand behind our captain, a player with great character and leadership qualities that are critical to our club.”