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??
NHL Suspends Islander Chris Simon for 30 Games December 19, 2007
Colin “Soupy” Campbell Blows It Again