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Simon Is Back; Is That Fair?

As you may have heard by now, Chris Simon re-signed with the Islanders yesterday, agreeing to a one-year, bonus-laden deal that could pay him $800,000. Simon's new deal, of course, comes four months after he was suspended 25 games -- the second longest punishment in NHL history -- for his two-handed stick chop on Ryan Hollweg of the Rangers.

Simon, a former Cap, will miss five more games next season, then will be back in the Isles' lineup. From Newsday:

Simon's suspension was the second-longest in NHL history and still has five games to run at the start of next season. After Hollweg came from behind to smash Simon face-first into the glass and knock him down, the Isles' left wing got to his feet and took a two-handed stick swing that caught Hollweg in the mouth March 8 at Nassau Coliseum.
Hollweg received two stitches, and he played the next game. Simon, who was diagnosed with a concussion, later apologized for his vicious act, but he missed the last 15 regular-season games plus the Islanders' five-game playoff loss to Buffalo as a result of the suspension. The 15-year veteran will be eligible to resume his career in the Islanders' sixth game Oct. 13 at Philadelphia.
Simon has a close relationship with coach Ted Nolan, who coached him in juniors with Sault Ste. Marie.
"Chris knew what he did was wrong, and he can't ever do it again," Nolan said last night of Simon's suspension. "He learned a valuable lesson, and he felt bad about it. If someone knew his life story and how many obstacles he overcame, you wouldn't want his NHL career to end on that note."

I bring this up because many of you called for a much more severe punishment in the hours and days after the incident. Have your feelings changed?

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 24, 2007; 8:45 AM ET
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Posted by: Anonymous | July 24, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Simon seemed to show a good deal of remorse after the fact. The penalty was more severe than Hunter's Cheap shot (21 games, right), which was after play was over. I'm sure he's going to have a bull's eye on his back.

Posted by: Icarus | July 24, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I remember his time here fondly; he is a character, but he should have been punished for more games this season.

It is time for players, through their union, to get serious about shots to the head. They are the product. They do themselves no favors by killing each other out there.

This sort of behavior diminishes the product for everyone and ensures that Hockey remains a second tier sport.

Posted by: Clarendon | July 24, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

He shouldn't have done it, but was reacting to a cheap shot he himself had suffered. Two wrongs don't make a right, but the suspension he was given was sufficient.

Posted by: Brandon | July 24, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Brandon. I thought the punishment fit the crime. To extend this thread though, I would like for the instigator rule to be dropped so he could exact the type of revenge that I'm sure he wanted to. Cheapshot punks like Hollweg skate 8 minutes as "energy" players. Ten years ago (or whenever the instigator rule went into effect), he would get pummeled by a Simon or a Brashear for trying that on anyone... let alone a guy who can mix it up. Drop: "energy" and suspensions. Add: Self-policing.

Posted by: melvis | July 24, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

This sort of behavior diminishes the product for everyone and ensures that Hockey remains a second tier sport.

You're ABSOLUTELY right. Player behavior has made hockey a second tier sport.

Posted by: Michael Vick | July 24, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Melvis is absolutely correct. Ryan Hollweg's hit from behind that sent SImons head into the glass was over the top and a direct result of the instigator rule. The game is getting dirtier because players don't have to fear retribution. No way would that hit have happened if Tony Twist, Probert, Stevens, Domi, or even our Dale Hunter had been on the ice, once upon a time. If it did happen, Hollweg would have gotten a pounding and he would never have done it again for fear of the consequences. The dirty plays are examples of a lack of respect and that lack of respect is due to the leagues misguided attempts to make the game more PC. I don't want the ridiculousness of the broad street bullies, but I DO want a game that can be policed by players, like it was before the rule. It was far more effective; there were fewer high sticks and spearing incidents and head shots, etc. Simon tweaked because of the utter disrespect he received from a nobody 4th line agitator, a kid, who should have known what he was doing was wrong but has grown up in a 'new' NHL.

Ovechkin's shove on Briere last year should have gotten him a beating. More likely, the heavyweights on both teams would have gone at it to settle up and then Brash would have given Ovie a toungue lashing for coming from behind. Briere's spear would have gotten him pummeled by a middleweight, not Brashear, but Buffalo's enforcer would likely have had to face off with Brash; that guy then would have lit into Briere for his actions. Now, with Instigator penalties, that doesn't happen and we see bad PR instances and large suspensions instead. Way to go, Bettman, you %@#*^#& tool.

Posted by: MM | July 24, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Come on, two stitches and 15 games suspension? Let's move on. If Simon wanted to really hurt him ...he did not. Just happened that it looked bad, he could've punch him and it could be worse. Apology accepted.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | July 24, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

MM makes the argument which I've heard time and again and maybe it's correct. My question is: what distinguishes the NHL from the NFL when it comes to fighting? I.e., why is fighting "accepted" in the NHL, but not in the NFL? Certainly, the hitting is just as fierce in the NFL.

Posted by: ResposeToMM | July 24, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

MM and Melvis

How did the instigator penalty have made any difference in this case? Simon clearly wasn't thinking about penalties when he went at Hollweg. Why would he not have just punched him? Yeah, maybe he'd get the penalty, but if it's worth trying to take a guys head off with your stick (+ penalties), then it's worth risking the extra 2 for instigating instead, don't you think?

Posted by: king bonehead | July 24, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I still think the suspension was too long, and that he should be able to play opening night. Hollweg's entire career has been built off of cheap, dirty hits, and he's never in trouble for them. I dont agree with how Simon reacted, but Hollweg definitely deserved payback...and look at the injuries, Simon came out on the short end of that stick too...

Posted by: Dan Nelson | July 24, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

He did the crime, and has served his time!
Move on

Posted by: caphcky | July 24, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Since Simon used his STICK, for a head shot at Hollweg, and thats why I think 25 games was less than what he deserved. The NHL needs to cut down on head shots, I don't think anyone can argue with that. But when a player delivers a head shot with a composite stick, I believe that puts the issue into a special category.

Now I am not condoning elbows to the head, or ramming someones face into the glass; all I am saying is that since Simon used his stick, 25 games seems to be too short of a suspension.

Its too bad that I believe its just a matter of time before a head shot causes a very serious injury/death on the ice. Players are so big, and so fast that unless the league AND the players union decide to be proactive about this issue we will blogging about a very serious injury in the future.

Wouldn't the NHL bashing media love that???

Posted by: Genotype55 | July 24, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

King Bonehead:

It has a lot to do with Hollweg's hit from behind. The extra two minutes ends up being a powerplay, which can put the team down a goal and swing a game in the other direction. Those two extra minutes can cost a team the game. Not to mention the possible game misconduct for retaliation, further hurting one's team. Because of this, a lot of things go unpunished, ie Hollwegs boarding of Simon. The fact of the matter is Hollweg should not have hit from behind but he did so, against a veteran heavyweight enforcer, because he can A) draw an instigator penalty and a power play, B) play aggressively, more so than he would if he thought there was going to be a fair and painfull @$$kicking afterwards, C) intimidate the opposing team, D) look big and tough for hitting a veteran like Simon (6'4" vs 5'11). Not too long ago that hit would have gotten him beaten up by Simon or someone else since Simon got knocked out of the game. Thats what players mean when they say that guys are tearing around running people these days without any respect for the other players, the game or the game's history. Most players, particularly those that have been around a while, will tell you that this is a direct result of the instigator penalty. Enforcers and fighting are there to protect the skilled players. Without it there are going to be a lot more slashes and hacks and whacks. The NHL means that because of that there will bemore powerplays, giving away games and slowing them down. Make sense?

Posted by: MM | July 24, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

As a member of Simon's Tribe for years (I hand painted those signs on big rolls of paper) I can say I'm glad he's re-signed. I just am sorry that it wasn't with the Caps, as I think he'd look great in those new tight fitting Rebok Caps jerseys.

Posted by: Chief McPhail | July 24, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Follow up:

Because Simon has been around for a long while, he was reacting to the boarding and what pissed him off was the audacity of some kid potentially injuring him by being stupid. Yes, his anger got the best of him, but he knows that there is no place in the game for cheap shots like that. Its dishonarable and disrespectful. He paid a big price for his retaliation, a high price. If you take the instigator rule out and let the enforcers do what they do the game will clean itself up night to night. Guys will learn quick what you can and can't do because fighting HURTS. Getting punched in the head hurts bad, as does punching itself. Brashear isn't on our team to score goals. He's there to let the other teams know that if they play out of turn there will be a reckoning. But instead you get punks like Briere throwing speares. If someone on Buffalo had gotten the crap beat out of him for what Briere did he wouldn't have speared one of the Caps again next time.

Posted by: MM | July 24, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Simon was awesome as a Cap. He had the long hair going and he intimidated everybody. At the time, even Sports Illustrated ran a feature on him as the "ultimate power forward." I'm glad he's back.

Posted by: tokyo fan | July 24, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

After Simon took the hit, it almost looked like he didn't fully know what he was doing anyway. To say he was in his right frame of mind and punish him for what was a knee jerk reaction doesn't makes sense to me.

Posted by: capfan1 | July 24, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Twenty-five games seems fair enough to me. I'd be fine with rules that came crashing down on stickwork in particular. And, before I forget: if your cheap shot causes an injury, your suspension STARTS when the guy you damaged returns to the ice. If you end a player's career, congratulations! You just quit the NHL.

Posted by: redlineblue | July 24, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I thought the penalty was overkill. The NHL has often implied that suspensions for playoff games are supposed to count more than suspensions for regular season games, and Simon was suspended for the entire playoffs, no matter how far the Islanders went. I don't think the Suspension should have carried over to this season at all.

Posted by: FS | July 24, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

If you don't want to get twacked in the face with a stick, you probably shouldn't cheap-shot someone like Chris Simon from behind. Common sense.

That being said, 25 games--the second longest suspension in league history--is probably fair. And, he's served it. So, let's move on.

I'm wondering...was the 25 game suspension handed out after Hollweg started playing again or before?

Posted by: aybee | July 24, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I got no problems with Simon coming back. He will have served his suspension. It wasn't a lifetime suspension. Those that think it should have been, need to take it up with the league not Simon.

I agree that the instigator rule needs to go. Too many guys hide behind it. Too many guys take advantage of it.

I think that the game should police itself. Believe me, it will find its own level. Cheap shots will disappear and people will think twice about being reckless if there is the chance they will get pounded.

Right now, the price is minimal... if they even get caught by the ref. Half the time, the ref doesn't see or doesn't call it. In the old days, what the ref thought didn't matter as much as what the opposition thought. If they thought you tried to cheap shot em, there was payback no matter what the ref called or didn't call.

In other words you were accountable for your actions...

Posted by: Muddapucker | July 24, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

agreed. Get rid of the instigator rule. Fights are one of the reasons why average fans used to be interested in hockey in the first place. Also, for more on this subject check out the book "The Code: The Unwritten Rules Of Fighting And Retaliation In The Nhl" by ross bernstein

Posted by: Brandon | July 24, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"Not too long ago that hit would have gotten him beaten up by Simon or someone else since Simon got knocked out of the game. "

MM-- my point is that, in this case (I'm not ruling out other cases), the instigator rule doesn't seem to have mattered. I don't think Simon was thinking "I might get an extra 2 for instigating if I try to fight him, so I'll risk a misconduct and try to chop his head off." Simon flipped out and chopped him. He probably would have done that in this case even if there were no instigator rule.

--One might argue that Hollweg wouldn't be such a pr**k if there were no instigator rule, but I think a pr**k is a pr**k : )

Posted by: King Bonehead | July 24, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Going off on a slight tangent here, I think the NHL would be well advised to consider adding a ref who watched the cameras all night and could tell the guys on ice if they had missed a major penalty, like an elbow. I don't think it's really needed for clutching and grabbing andstuff like, but for major stuff there should be some way to use already existing in-arena technology to do something about it.

No excuse for what Simon did, but considering he got a concussion from a cheap hit and seem genuinely remorseful for his screw up, I think this is a fair ending.

Posted by: EricS | July 24, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

have my feelings changed? no. someone posted above that simon wasn't trying to injure him. what else could he have been trying to do when he took a baseball swing at the guy's face with his stick?

to me, you don't look at what hollweg did. you look at what simon did, which was to get up, find the guy who hit him, and try to remove his head. actually, scratch that. my feelings have changed. before, i said 15 games into this season. now, i think he should never be allowed to play again.

Posted by: pgreene | July 24, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Simon is a thug. Period. Swinging hockey sticks at others (even at the likes of Avery or Sutton) is unforgivable and must not be tolerated.

Posted by: Finn | July 24, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I hear your opinion about the third Ref and cameras, but please... No more cameras, no more refs...

My point is that you won't need them if the game polices itself. If you or your buddy is the victim of a cheapshot, you straighten it out on the ice. No one needs a camera or a third ref. Let the players take care of their own business.

Of course, there be fighting majors and game misconducts that will result. I am not saying look the other way. I am just saying don't over regulate the game.

I don't want to deviate too much from the subject but I took a good friend of mine to his first hockey game this past season versus Montreal. I bragged all about it being the fastest team sport and exciting checks etc.

Boy, was I am embarassed. Whistle after whistle. Interference after interference. Hold after hold. Neither team could gather any continuity at all.

My point is that neither calling it too tight is good nor is calling it too loose good. The truth lies somewhere inbetween. The "new NHL" is okay in my book so long as these whistle happy refs don't kill the game making chicken fertizer calls.

It was never so plain to me as it was when I watched that first time hockey goer yawn during what should have been one of the most exciting games of the year. The NHL better think about the new crowd they are trying to attract. Many of us who have been around understand the effort the NHL is trying to make, but to others, they just don't get all the whistles.

So, please no more cameras, no more refs and no more rules in an effort to be politically correct.

Posted by: Muddapucker | July 24, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

As reprehensible as his act was, hits and stick swinging like that aren't driving fans away from the sport. Overexpansion, ridiculous television deals and an over-emphasis on creativity-strangling coaching "systems" have done far more damage. The majority of people ooohing and aaahing about fighting or Simon getting a new contract don't care about the game in the first place and just use the latest buzz to confirm their preconceived notions.

Posted by: sec. 404 | July 24, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Simon got what he deserved, but should be allowed to play again. Hollweg is a little bit@# for hitting him from behind(One of the most cowardly moves in hockey)....But off that topic a little bit, Hockey is looking pretty good in the media these days, basicly for not being in it at all. God these other leagues really know how to get some headlines.

Posted by: Esmydee13 | July 24, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Simon is serving his suspension and when it's done he will return to the is his right to do so under the current rules.however i do agree that if the players were allowed to police the game themselves,these kind of situations would become less and less.the rules are taking the game to ruin.give the game back to the players and coaches and wacth how the fans return.and could someone please stop Bettman from expanding the league.
It's killing the product!

Posted by: capsfaninGa. | July 24, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I believe the rules in international hockey state that fighting gets you tossed from the game. Why is it that players can behave like civilized human beings when they're representing their countries but they are allowed to seriously maim or attempt to maim one another in the "professional" NHL?

Posted by: largo lad | July 24, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

how could anyone re-sighn Simon after that cheapshot. he should have been kicked out of the NHL seeing as how this is his 5th suspention.

Posted by: dcfury | July 24, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

how could anyone re-sighn Simon after that cheapshot. he should have been kicked out of the NHL seeing as how this is his 5th suspention.

Posted by: dcfury | July 24, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

King Bonehead:

The missing bit here is that the instigator rule would have effected the way Hollweg played the game, not the penalty minutes Simon would have gotten. If Hollweg was sure that he was going to go toe to toe with as many of the rangers that were going to come at him all night until the debt had been replayed, he likely wouldn't have taken a run at Simon. Since the instigator penalty punishes retaliation, Hollweg has gotten used to running guys because the punishment is so low. 2 minutes in the box is a lot different than getting punched in the head by Domi, Brashear, Stevens, Boogard (ask Fedoruk), Laraque, et al. Getting punched by those guys for dirty play has traditionally kept the game cleaner. Without it, you get more dangerous play. THats how the Instigator rule affected the Simon incident.

Largo Lad: There is a lot more stick work overseas; more slashes, hooks, etc. Ask anyone who plays rec hockey which leagure has more dirty play, the hitting league or the non-hitting league. And keep in mind that the majority of Euro's want to be able to play in the NHL. Also keep in mind that in NHL Playoffs there is little to no fighting.


I just looked that book up. Thanks!!

Posted by: MM | July 24, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Speaking from having been bashed in the face hard enough to be concussed, you don't think rationally for minutes after that. Hell, I could barely see for almost a minute, a minute in which I was throwing blood covered snow at my friends since I thought I was still in the middle of a snow ball fight. I wasn't thinking straight enough to know that I could barely see, much less that I was gushing blood until they told me. No, I don't like that Simon's gut reaction was to try and take Hollweg's head off, but it's understandable, and I don't think any amount of making an example of Simon will prevent this from happening in a similar situation. No one is thinking well enough after a hit like that to go "hmm, the last guy who did this was suspended for 25 games/the season/life, I'd better not whack at my attacker with my stick."

Posted by: gelf | July 24, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Bertuzzi's limited punishment puts a cap on others. Bertuzzi took a walk for making a guy not be able to play through a hit from behind (not even a fair fight). It's hard to give people reasonable suspensions after not nailing Bertuzzi. Bert should have been out until his victim can play again. The result is suspensions like Pronger's are a joke.

Simon's problem was the stick and the repeat offender status (which I blame on the Caps coaches trying to toughen him up- that's why they dropped him).

I like Hull's idea of escalating punishments until this sort of stuff gets in line.

Would the people on this line be ok with Simon's stick to the head if it had been against OV? This year saw cheap shots against skill players. What happens to a franchise or the NHL if a star goes out through these sorts of things.

Posted by: Jim | July 24, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Right on Gelf,

Like I said earlier, Simon didn't look like he had any idea what he was doing. After that hit he was sleepwalking and what goes through your brain after a hit like that?

I can't believe that the powers that be in Hockey can't figure stuff out like this! Simon deserved to be punished and he did his time but the initial hit deserved something too!

Posted by: capfan1 | July 25, 2007 2:34 AM | Report abuse

Simon was loopy, but the league could not ignore what happened. The suspension was on par with Bertuzzi's for the Steve Moore incident, which was a MUCH worse offense. I think he's paid his dues and it's time to move on. Another incident like that and he should be gone. I also still can't stand to see Bertuzzi being allowed to play.

Posted by: The Capitalist | July 25, 2007 6:52 AM | Report abuse

It all comes down to the same thing time and again with overt acts of violence at the rink, a clear lack of respect for your fellow man. The thing that gets me all the time, not just in the NHL either, is player unions that seem to favor the treatment of the "offending" member over the justice of the "victim" member. I find this standard amazing. If the representative player unions would provide the same sort of support to the "victim" has they do for the "offender", do you not believe that we would see a dramatic decrease in this sort of behavior in professional sports? It appears to me that athletes seem to feel that they have the support of their unions to act in almost any way they see fit (Mike Vick may be changing that now - maybe not). Whereas if the unions would just say to the offenders that their actions are detrimental to the health and livelihood of other members, that there will not be any support, legal or otherwise, forthcoming as the result of an act of violence against a fellow union member and that repeated acts of violence against fellow union members will result in union expulsion, does anybody believe that this behavior would continue? I think very few would.

Posted by: tm | July 25, 2007 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, on rereading last night's post it makes me look like I don't support any punishment for Simon. Let me clarify my position. I completely support his suspension, while his reaction is understandable, it's also unacceptable behavior. I don't think he should be banned for life, for the reasons stated above.

Posted by: gelf | July 25, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Simon shouldn't have hit the guy with his stick the way he should have, period. However, why is everyone blaming Simon when it was Hollweg's actions that led to Simon trying to take his head off.

I doubt that Simon would have taken the swing he did--BTW the Nationals tried to lure him to Spring Training--but that swing would NOT have happened had Hollweg not chucked him from behind.

I like the idea of an off-ice official who is a referee to take care of the stupid stuff that some officials don't see. It is quite possible that a referee standing right in front of a cheap shot never sees it because he's concentrated on something else. Giving someone a broader range of view will cut down on the crosschecks on the scrums in front of the net as well as the crap that players like Mellanby pull, the cheap shots then run away.

You don't blame the bomb for exploding, nor the pilot for pushing the button to drop it. You blame the guy that first gave the order because it was his ultimate decision.

Posted by: Don't Blame the Result | July 25, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

That's the dumbest attempt at justifying Simon's actions I've ever heard. So who gave Simon the order to take a swing at Hollweg? Was it Hollweg's hit? If so, then clearly someone gave Hollweg an order to hit Simon from behind. It must have been his coach. But who gave that order? Clearly the owner of the Rangers. And his order was probably given to him by Gary Bettman, who takes his orders from the Freemasons, who take their orders from George W. Bush, who of course only takes orders from God himself.

Posted by: zamboni | July 25, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

If Bertuzzi can be back facing much less of a suspension for breaking someone's neck literally then 25 games for Simon giving Hollweg 2 stitches is plenty of time! Chris made a bad decision in the heat of the moment - Bertuzzi was premeditated.

If you want stiffer suspensions - email Colin Campbell.

Posted by: SM | July 25, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

And there you have it. 6 degrees of seperation. By the way, Zamboni, you just summed up the rationale behind every atrocity sanctioned by religion in the history of the world. As ridiculous in Hollwegs case as in every other. Marx was evidently correct on that score.

Posted by: MM | July 25, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Considering that ball players and coaches can take balls to the head that can kill, is this really any worse than a bean ball to the head in baseball? You get a baseball to the face, you can die, break bones, all this. I'm still of the opinion Hollweg should have been given a boarding penalty. Am I excusing Simon? No. But I think his punishment fit the crime.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | July 25, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I think there are a couple of issues here.

First, in my opinion, stick swinging is thuggery that has to be eliminated at any level of the game. Period.

Second, the instigator rule takes enforcement of the Code and shifts it from the players to the refs. The goal of the rule was to end the reign of the Broad Street Bullies. However, if the refs can't enforce the rules without completely disrupting the flow of the game, or if the refs otherwise aren't succeeding in getting skill players the room they need on the ice and minimizing cheap shots, stick work and disrespect, then the NHL needs to shift responsibility back to the players while finding another mechanism to keep intimidation from playing the predominant role in the game. (Note: what I'm saying is that intimidation is a part of hockey, but it shouldn't be the principal focus of the sport.) During the playoffs, we all suspensions for hits that weren't even penalized by the refs on the ice. Judge for yourself whether that's a system that works to keep play in bounds, or whether some other alternative needs to be found, even the alternative is going back to the past.

Posted by: Fred | July 25, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I was very happy to see Simon get re-signed. My feelings on the matter have not changed: I felt the punishment was harsh in the first place and am still angry that Hollweg wasn't also punished for the illegal hit that caused the whole thing. I think Simon's injury (concussion) was actually worse than Hollweg's (2? stitches). I am not saying Simon shouldn't have been punished, but that I thought Hollweg should have been punished too. It seems like the league is saying it's okay to cheapshot (and injure) someone as long as you (or your teammates) are not doing it in retaliation for someone cheapshotting (and injuring) you.

Simon missed the rest of a crucial part of the regular season and the entirety of the playoffs and still has 5 more games to sit for at the start of next season. Losing him from the line-up really hurt his entire team- the irony of which is that I think it helped them realize how valuable he was.

Punishment has been meted and served: Time to move on.

Posted by: errantelf | July 27, 2007 8:46 PM | Report abuse

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