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NHL Suspends Islander Chris Simon for 30 Games December 19, 2007

Colin “Soupy” Campbell Blows It Again

The NHL suspended Islander “bad boy” Chris Simon for 30 games for kicking Pittsburgh Penguin Jarkko Ruutu with a razor-sharp skate blade during an altercation last Saturday. The suspension is the longest in NHL history and comes following a suspension to Simon last Spring for swinging his stick at the face of New York Ranger Ryan Hollweg.

Remarkably, Islander head coach Ted Nolan called the penalty “excessive.”

Although the record clearly shows my favoritism to the Rangers, my perspective on Simion’s latest incident has nothing to do specifically with the attack on Hollweg. However, the two-handed swing at Hollweg was the cause of one of the seven suspensions that highlight the career of Simon.

As much as I dislike Jarkko Ruutu and would love to see him fed slowly through a meat grinder, my condemnation of Campbell has absolutely nothing to do with Ruutu as a victim. Had the victim of Simon’s attack been Ken Linsman, Dave Schultz or Dale Hunter, the NHL’s most despicable players over the years, I would still say the Soupy Campbell continues to show how he is a poor politician, inept manager and ridiculous hockey executive.

Hockey fans must unite to demand better attention by the refs and the league in protecting players against hits that injure. It is precisely for this reason that Soupy must be called out for being a total wimp. The suspension was far too lenient … Simon should have been banned forever from the NHL. Again, the bull-you-know-what rivalry between the Rangers and Islanders is not an issue in my demand for Simon’s ban … if a Ranger player did the same thing, I would be just as disgusted.

If you want to fight, fine. If you want to rough it up, fine. However, if you intentionally or accidentally cause a severe injury to a player, there needs to be some consequences. The NHL must develop a clear list of professional ethics that ban cheap shots such as low hits, aiming for the knees, blind-siding players, charging, boarding, “deliberate” slashing and high sticking, or anything that can be described as a deliberate intent to injure.

Some might argue that accidents will happen, and that is where intent and control must be part of a code of ethics. The NHL is full of players who are bigger, faster and stronger than the boys who played the game years ago. The professional in the NHL needs to be in control of his speed, skating and stick every moment he is on the ice.

Simon’s actions were blatantly criminal. Deliberately stepping on a player with a razor-sharp skate blade and attacking an unprotected area of the body is not the act of a rational human being. I don’t care how emotional Simon is or how wonderful a team player is or how big a jerk Ruutu is. Simon’s actions cannot be tolerated in a professional sports league.

As usual, Soupy Campbell took a moment that demanded decisive, forward-thinking leadership and acted like a coward through his lack of intestinal fortitude. As a result, Simon goes dancing off to counseling sessions for all the love and hugs he has been missing to prepare for his return to the NHL 30 games from now. Sure, we can expect him to be rehabilitated. NOT! If six previous suspensions didn’t teach the young wayward lad a lesson, by what deep insight does Soupy see this Simon playing again in the NHL?

Soupy needs to get his head examined. Meanwhile, the consistency and professionalism of the NHL has been taken down another notch. Players, teams and fans all will suffer a little more because Soupy guts are as thin as chicken broth. And where the heck is Gary Bettman and his spectacular leadership about this latest incident that tarnishes the image of hockey??


4 Responses to “NHL Suspends Islander Chris Simon for 30 Games”

  1. Got a little bit confused while reading :S

  2. bluboo Says:

    Dear Dino:

    Here’s the executive summary:

    1) Chris Simon’s real calling is as an axe murderer.

    2) Jarkko Ruutu needs a beating, but he did not deserve what Simon tried to do with his skate.

    3) The NHL needs a Code of Ethics (besides penalties) designed to prevent injuries to its players when another player is unable to control his speed, skating and/or stick. Professionals need to be accountable for everything that they do on the ice.

    4) Simon should have been suspended from the NHL … there is no room for players who intentionally try to injure another player. PERIOD.

    5) Campbell and Bettman need to find other jobs, probably in the fast food industry.

  3. Charles Dobbs Says:

    I have followed Colin Campbell since he was the Asst. Coach of the New York Rangers and later as Coach. When he became Sr. Vice President of the NHL he has been and continues to be the toughest disciplinarian the NHL has ever had. Colin Campbell will make one of the best League presidents when Gary Bettman finally steps down. People tend to overlook Bettman’s screw-up’s and place the blame on Campbell. Just look at Campbell’s record and you will see how strong of a disciplinarian. Campbell has always been a stickler for the rules of the game, and has slowly made improvements where improvements were needed. What you want is “blood” in a game that spills blood every game it is ridiculous to ask for much more. If it was a non violent game which it is not, that would be a different story. Why do you insult him by calling him Soupy? Your opinion of him is just that … your opinion.

  4. bluboo Says:

    Dear Mr. Dobbs:

    You are apparently misinformed. Campbell’s nickname of “Soupy” was a gift from Ranger fans of much greater humor than me. If you really knew anything about Campbell, you’d know the nickname “Soupy” was given with much affection during his years as an asst. coach and head coach. He was more successful than most Ranger coaches despite the fact that his tenure involved cleaning up messes made by Mike Keenan and Neil Smith.

    The chip on his shoulder about getting fired by the Rangers has been documented by others. I don’t blame him, but it is upsetting when he arbitrarily tilts the scales.

    My concern with Campbell, although his punishments seem more severe, is that the incidents he is addressing are far more deliberate and dangerous than ever before. In my 40 years of watching professional hockey, the context of the game has changed because the players are bigger, faster and stronger. Hockey by nature is a violent game, but Simon’s deliberate actions against Ruutu and Hollweg were not just the product of a moment of passion.

    Kicking and stepping on a player or to swinging your stick at a player’s face are not the acts of a person in control of himself. It is not indicative of a professional who respects the careers of his opponents. A hard hit is one thing. Assault is another.

    What I want is players to be protected as much as reasonably possible from career-ending injuries due to carelessness and recklessness. Simon has crossed the line too many times to be given more chances. Maybe it will take a player (maybe somebody like a Crosby or Ovechkin) having his neck broken on the ice before Campbell and others will take the issue more seriously.

    Campbell as Bettman’s successor? God help the NHL.

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