Friday, March 14, 2008

When a stomp's not a stomp


Chris Pronger of the Anaheim Ducks won't face disciplinary action from the NHL after allegedly stomping on the calf of Ryan Kesler in Wednesday night's game versus the Vancouver Canucks.

"He stomped on me," Kesler told reporters after the game. "He got me on the calf."
Here's Tom Benjamin on this one: "The league has always averted eyes whenever possible when a great player is involved. Great players are never painted as villains on the ice."

Chris Simon doesn't apply.

UPDATE The Islanders' VP of media relations, Chris Botta, has weighed in on his blog:
I'm going to step out just a bit here and share something that Chris [Simon] said to me a few times. In all honesty, when he volunteered his thoughts I was torn between being sympathetic and concerned that Chris had lost his way. Basically, Chris felt that on judgment day he was treated differently than other players. I never let the conversation get to the subject of why.
What other conclusion you can draw here?


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32 Comments:

At 3:15 AM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Murder and homicide are different but both act are penalized. This is a joke.

It's also funny to see McKenzie and others doing their dance because Pronger is a superstar. Simon is just a sideshow.

30 games vs. no games? Give me a break.

 
At 3:18 AM, March 14, 2008, Blogger rickibear said...

The Parliament Hate Law Ombudsman needs to give Mr. Bettman and Mr. Campbell a call and get them to justify why a First Nations fellow gets thirty games and the white boy gets nothing. Campbell and Bettman can have no justification for this Farce.

 
At 7:45 AM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous Dave said...

Interesting - either my internet is playing up again, or the youtube has been taken down!

And with discipline being handed out the way it is, I don't think it's unreasonable to take the conspiracy angle.

 
At 7:50 AM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous Dave said...

Sorry to double post - I just thought of checking The Pensblog youtube (which appeared to be different) and that version is gone too. I don't see any goal highlights being taken down. Draw your own conclusion!

 
At 7:56 AM, March 14, 2008, Blogger FAUX RUMORS said...

1) There is little doubt as we wrote on our blog early this morning, that this is yet another illustration of the NHL's double standard when it pertains to justice
2) If there was some media outrage, like in the Simon incident, then the NHL would have suspended Pronger. They react, never act!
3) After the Zednik another accidental skate lacerations that seemed to have been more prevelant this season, it would seem that the NHL would want to curb/punish players who use a skate as a weapon!!

 
At 8:51 AM, March 14, 2008, Blogger Adam C said...

Chris Simon deserved everything he got. He earned it. Period.

Chris Pronger, however, should have got at least five games, and they would have been justified giving him 10, 20 or even 30 as well.

I've said it before: this is the least competently run league in professional sports.

(now that Isaiah Thomas has been reduced to just a single team)

 
At 10:35 AM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous Keith said...

Two things that everyone knows to be true.

1. Chris Pronger is one of the dirtiest players in the league.

2. The league will always look the other way when the dirty player is also a star player.

Gotta love the Colin Campbell Wheel of Justice.

 
At 10:45 AM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous penaltyshots.ca said...

To me, it looked a lot like a guy tangled up in the corner and trying to get out of it without falling down, resulting in him stepping on the downed player. Obviously this is an opinion I share with Colin Campbell.

 
At 10:55 AM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous Darrell said...

Here is a new angle of the incident. How the NHL didn't suspend Pronger (who has been suspended 7 times in his career including twice in the last 12 months).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt5rBWarx6A

Tell me that is "accidental"

 
At 11:08 AM, March 14, 2008, Blogger Reagen Sulewski said...

I hate Pronger like any good Oiler fan, but if I'm truly honest with myself, I have to say that he doesn't deserve anything there. It looks to me like he's just tangled up and off balance.

 
At 11:08 AM, March 14, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

Here's Tom Benjamin on this one: "The league has always averted eyes whenever possible when a great player is involved. Great players are never painted as villains on the ice."

Unless it was Maurice Richard. ;)

Bettman and the league office is also scared of Burke, and the Samuelis are some of Gary's golden boys.

 
At 11:53 AM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous PPP said...

That new video is pretty conclusive James. You should swap it out for the one that you have now.

 
At 12:24 PM, March 14, 2008, Blogger FAUX RUMORS said...

1) We wonder if this "new tape" causes the league to re-think its non-suspension?
2) The truth is that they are probably (finally) getting some heat from fans who have seen the various replays and now are outraged that Pronger seems to be getting away with much the same thing that got Simon 30 games!
3) As always the NHL RE-acts, it doesn't act!

 
At 12:28 PM, March 14, 2008, Blogger kevin said...

I'll state up front I've posted here, about, oh, 2-3 suspensions ago, about not being a Pronger fan. But I was actually not at all convinced this was more then an accident.

The new video is really compelling.

Like many other people, I saw the original clip and felt it was a stumble... but the new, much closer view - WOW - very clear, very deliberate.
In my (old) post, I was asking that the league carefully consider his numerous previous suspensions in his next inevitable suspension. That suspension has come and gone, but the comment remains true today: please, please consider the number of transgressions here.

 
At 12:39 PM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous treved said...

I'm a diehard Canucks fan, and love Kesler.

I don't care much one way or the other about Pronger.

But even watching the new clip, I don't know that it warrants a suspension. Maybe a game or two to send a message to be careful, but it sure looked like Kesler was grabbing Pronger's leg between his legs, and Pronger was trying to get free.

I dunno, I think that's just the flow of the game there. Could be wrong...

 
At 12:55 PM, March 14, 2008, Blogger Aaron said...

The key to the whole thing is that Pronger has been suspended on numerous occasions, so he should not receive the benefit of any doubt when it comes to league administered justice. In a perfect world we'd see a lengthy suspension, perhaps longer than actually justified by this single act, to show that repeat offenders are under the microscope. For anyone who thinks that might not be fair to Pronger I would argue that he didn't have to commit the offenses that got him suspended in the past but he chose to anyway. There has to be a limit to the number of times a player can "get out of jail free" before he gets a long suspension even if the most recent act is not the most egregious.

 
At 1:05 PM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Brian Burke still handing out suspensions by the NHL, but the leniency his players are shown it sure does seem like it.

 
At 1:25 PM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The key to the whole thing is that Pronger has been suspended on numerous occasions, so he should not receive the benefit of any doubt when it comes to league administered justice."

FALSE.

 
At 1:30 PM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matter of fact what Pronger did was worse than Simon. Simon stepped on Ruuttu's skate. Pronger went for the unprotected area of Kesler's leg.

Simon deserved 30, Pronger should get 35 since he is a repeat offender that keeps insisting his previous 7 suspensions weren't so bad and there were extenuating circumstances as to why he tried to maim someone. Simon is an idiot that expresses remorse. Pronger is just an unrepentant moron.

 
At 1:34 PM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Late breaking news Simon sent to the Flyers on waivers and given an automatic 100 game suspension for being Chris Simon and a Flyer. Chris Pronger to receive two get out of a 10 minute major free cards for being on Brian Burke's team.

 
At 1:42 PM, March 14, 2008, Blogger rickibear said...

I have changed my mind the diffrence in suspesion was not racially motivated (Maybe).

After veiwing both incidents on Covered in Oil. I now understand the difference.

Simon stomped on a corporate sponser product that makes the league money. Were as Pronger was just trying to tear off human flesh and players are expendable. They sure showed Simon not to mess with NHl money.

 
At 2:33 PM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous Daniel said...

Coming from a background in European sports and as a new convert to Ice Hockey since moving to Canada, it is really depressing to see how inconsistent the enforcement of rules seem to be in the NHL. I'd really love to see the same treatment for all players regardless of their status.

I'm starting to think that some formalisation of punishments for offences would go a long way to reducing the amount of random pointless incidents on ice e.g. offence X = minimum X game suspension actually encoded in the rulebook and enforced rather than being left to whim of the league. Doing that would mean that everyone would know that doing X means missing X games, rather than doing X and hoping nothing happens...

Maybe doubling the minimum suspension each time for repeat offenders would also help get the message across.

 
At 2:52 PM, March 14, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Matter of fact what Pronger did was worse than Simon. Simon stepped on Ruuttu's skate. Pronger went for the unprotected area of Kesler's leg.

That's actually not a bad point, and I'd never thought of it. Now, most players have padding on all parts of their legs, but that calf protection on some shin pads really isn't that great.

Personally, I would have given Pronger a short suspension as his infraction wasn't quite as blatant. Giving him nothing makes no sense at all.

 
At 3:22 PM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CFP's skate is tangled up in Kesler's sock. It takes some clumsy effort to break free. CFP spins to skate up ice. And before he takes off he CLEARLY and DELIBERATELY stomps down on Kesler's calf.

Either Colin Campbell is f*ing blind and/or stupid (ought to be given serious consideration), or there is multi-level justice in the NHL (most assuredly), or Brian Burke is calling the shots for the entire league (ought to be investigated).

What a bush league.

 
At 3:26 PM, March 14, 2008, Blogger rickibear said...

Prongers stomp not as Blatant????

Simon stomped an inanimate object next to a person (he clearly directed at the skate blade) and pronger stomped the individual.

That is like saying shooting the vehicle a person is sitting in is worse than shooting a person.

Nice Logic?

 
At 3:28 PM, March 14, 2008, Blogger Aaron said...

Brave lot, those who post as "anonymous." I don't know which part of my statement you were saying was false but it is true that Pronger has numerous suspensions in his past AND that he should no longer receive the benefit of the doubt. I'll put this into real world terms we can all appreciate. When a violent crime is committed who do the police look at first? Oh, that's right, those who have a history of committing said crime. In the real world these things follow you around for life, that's one of the many reasons not to commit the crime in the first place. Many states have adopted a 3 strikes and you're out policy with regards to sentencing because if you prove yourself to be a lifelong criminal eventually your body of work should mean more than your most recent transgression. If you commit 3 violent crimes you are a violent person and society has a right to protect itself from you, just like NHL players have a right to be safe from the Prongers and Simons of the league.

 
At 3:35 PM, March 14, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Nice Logic?

Look, if you want to have an intelligent discussion about this, I'm all for it — otherwise, don't bother commenting at all.

Pronger's stomp is far less visible, given the camera angles, etc., and is away from other players. That's why I feel it's less blatant.

 
At 3:54 PM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous PPP said...

Pronger's stomp is far less visible, given the camera angles, etc., and is away from other players. That's why I feel it's less blatant.

That was certainly true with the original angle but the close one makes the case for a stomp pretty open and shut. Yes, Kesler was holding Pronger's leg but he had shaken lose and stomps down on his leg.

 
At 4:52 PM, March 14, 2008, Anonymous baroque said...

Because I'm lazy today, I'll just quote myself from my comments on Kukla's (from a post on the disparity of punishment based on whether a team is based in Canada):

"It says a lot about the league that it is assumed as a matter of course that star players don’t get suspended as often or as severely, Canadian players don’t get suspended as often or as severely, Canadian teams are favored, or a hit on a star player is punished more severely than a hit on a lesser-known player.

Regardless of the bias any particular person favors, the prevailing attitude is an argument for some type of consistency or transparency - the allotment of suspensions is seen as arbitrary and/or capricious, and that is no way to run a railroad.

I don’t think it’s workable to have a completely rigid system of supensions, but for similar offenses the punishments should be at least within an order of magnitude, and they too often are not only in the same ballpark, but don’t even seem to be on the same planet.

No player should be absolutely shocked if he is supended for something (which is completely different from his public statements) and he shouldn’t be completely shocked if he gets off scot-free. The discipline policy should be rational enough that a player might go in thinking, “okay, odds are I’ll get between five and ten games because that is what the going rate is for this infraction, maybe on the high end since the player was injured pretty severely” and maybe leave with 12 games, which is at least close. He shouldn’t either walk out feeling completely put-upon for no reason because they gave him 40 games, or feeling like he hit the jackpot because he gets no supension.

It should at least make some level of sense. When even the players themselves figure that you can get off if you play for a Canadian team, or if you are a star player the rules don’t apply, then it makes no sense whatsoever.

(And I’m not referring to Pronger or anyone specifically - just hypothetical numbers.)"

http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/hockey/comments/suspension_pattern/

 
At 5:04 PM, March 14, 2008, Blogger rickibear said...

James if you read my first quote I based my opinion on the Covered In Oil videos. There is no dought as to each action.

As for Intelligent discussion all I am pointing out is stomping is a terrible act and there is no difference.

Neither can be less severe than the other. The act was the same and the result of the action dictates the difference in penalty in our punishment system.

Simon did not hurt Ruttu and got 30games. Pronger did not hurt kesler and got nothing.

Campbell has no credibility as a result.

"Nice Logic" may have been harsh.

 
At 1:27 AM, March 15, 2008, Blogger Bill Needle said...

He was just finishing his check.

 
At 3:55 PM, March 15, 2008, Blogger auxlepli said...

Pronger should be suspended for as long as Simon was suspended.

 

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