For the past few days there has been a lot of speculation of what will happen to Chris Simon after his stomping on Jarkko Ruutu in a game against the Penguins last Saturday. The vast majority of feelings out there have been that of a suspension for the rest of the year and possibly a lifetime ban.
Personally I would have lobbied for the lifetime ban, but I would have settled for a suspension that went through the rest of the season and the playoffs. However, Colin Campbell, in his infinite wisdom, has decided that 30 games will do. And my initial response was - are you f'ing kidding me? A repeat offender who has been suspended 6 times gets only 30 games for a clear intent to injure. Right, because thats fair. I mean at this point its just a matter of time before he tries to break his own record!
Perhaps I am a little jaded on this one. I am a Flyers fan and have watched them take 5 different suspensions this season. 5. But I am not going to argue if they deserved it, because about the only one I would defend is Jones, the others were just dumb. But that isnt my point - all I am asking for is for things to be EQUAL. If you are going to have Boulerice serve out 25 games for a crosscheck to the face (no previous offenses in the NHL) in a clear intent to injure play, then how do you give Simon (6 previous offenses in the NHL) 30 games for what could have been a much more heineous act? Where was the suspension for Sutton's elbow on Kukkonen? How about Fedoruk's boarding on Lupul? Laraque for baseball sliding into Biron? again I am jaded on this one, but I just want fair treatment.
The problem with the NHL is they penalize based on the result, not on the act itself. In all examples above where it was a Flyer taking a hit, there was no injury sustained. My personal feeling is that there should be a combination system. It would include a baseline suspension for certain activities, additional multipliers for suspensions in a season / previous years, and then would add in additional games based on the result. They need to curb accidents BEFORE they happen instead of waiting for someone to get killed out there.
Hits from behind that warrant a Match penalty: automatic 3 games suspension
Severity of the hit: +0 to 20
Injury to the player: +0 to 10
3rd offense in the past 2 seasons: 2.5 times multiplier
So lets say Simon gets his match penalty. 3 games. The hit is really bad, you could tell the intent was there +13 games. The player was injured on the play and will miss a few games +4 games. This being his 3rd suspension in the past 2 years bumps it up to a 2.5 multiplier. So (3+13+4) * 2.5 = 50 games.
At least at that point there would be a system. Each category could be broken down further if needed, but then its in writing and it isnt just totally off the top of someones head. Further, there should be a small committee that decides this, perhaps with a couple players from the players association, the coach or owner of the team with the player who was hit, colin campbell, and a sports analyst or two. This would give a variety of viewpoints and would allow for a more fairly wagered process.