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Give me a fucking break. First of all it was boarding, which the refs didn't call. I bleed more when I cut myself shaving. He is a little pussy.


By the way way, the Islanders still are 4-2 in the series and your over paid golf team will be on the links shortly

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Give me a fucking break. First of all it was boarding, which the refs didn't call. I bleed more when I cut myself shaving. He is a little pussy.


By the way way, the Islanders still are 4-2 in the series and your over paid golf team will be on the links shortly

OK, I think they did give Simon a break.... the NHL should have tossed him out of the league for good. They have dealt with this stick swinging incident twice in the last few years (McSorley & Simon), and egregious, outright assault in another (Bertuzzi) And a 25 game suspension IMO is getting off light, if Simon had done that out on the street it would be assault with a deadly weapon & he's be in jail for 5 years (and he still might be on the hook for criminal charges). Everybody in their right mind (including Simon and all of his Islander teammates, of course minus that other mongoloid idiot Witt) admits that he was in the wrong to do that, even if Hollweg did board him (which the refs, the NHL & every sportswriter out there thought at best might have been borderline) responding with an axe swing to someones face is illegal & has no place in the sport.


Is hockey a physical, punishing sport with lots of contact some of which might border on dirty.... yes however if you play the sport (which I have for about 20 years) there are two things as a player you don't do one of which is swing your stick with intent to injure (as McSorley & Simon clearly did) and the other is going after another players knees. Hits from behnd near the boards are also frowned upon heavily and I can understand why Simon was upset but to get up and two hand a guy in the face? No, he was looking to injure him deliberatly, if he wanted a proper sort of justice.... Hollweg is a tough guy & so is Simon, drop the gloves.... it's not like either of them are strangers to 5 minute fighting majors (or suspensions as this is Simon's 7'th).


And in regards to making or not making the playoffs the Rangers are currently IN THE PLAYOFFS as are the Islanders who only lead by 2 points & could just as easily be bounced as the Rangers..... hardly solid ground for Islanders fans to be making arguments about who will be playing golf in a matter of weeks.

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I was almost attacked like that in a game last year, but I swayed out of the way and I layed a nice open ice check on him in the next period. There is no need to do shit like that, I could have been really hurt, and this guy could have been a hell of a lot worse. The suspension should have went into next year as well.

Yeah, he was boarded but you still can't take anyones head off.

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ESPN's take


NHL sends right message with tough penalty

By E.J. Hradek

ESPN The Magazine



Colin Campbell, NHL senior executive vice president and director of hockey operations, has a long title.


On Sunday morning, he earned it.


After a short, but thorough, investigation, Campbell decided to banish Islanders left wing Chris Simon for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs as a result of his Paul Bunyan-like chop across the chin of Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg. In his announcement, Campbell stated that Simon will be suspended for a minimum of 25 games. So, if the Islanders fail to qualify for the 2007 playoffs or play fewer than 10 playoff games, Simon will serve the additional games at the start of the 2007-08 season.


Over the years, the league has tolerated a few too many nasty incidents for my taste. I still can close my eyes and see Gary Suter crosschecking Paul Kariya across the face. I think Suter got a whopping four-game league suspension (Campbell wasn't working for the league office at that time) for that act of violence in 1998. Kariya, meanwhile, suffered a concussion and missed several months. I guess it's nice to see that times have changed. Now, at least, we're sure that the league won't tolerate one player trying to decapitate another player with his hockey stick.


Actually, the Simon case likely was a simple one for Campbell, whose role as the league's supplementary disciplinarian isn't an easy one. (How would you like to hear irate mangers and owners yelling conflicting tales into your cell phone?) In this case, Campbell had clear, albeit very ugly, video evidence. Plus, he was dealing with a repeat offender. Really, Simon's slash to Hollweg's head was so despicable, so outside the realm of the game, that the decision -- like the act itself -- was a no-brainer.


At this point, Simon should consider himself extremely lucky. If his blow had landed an inch higher or lower, he might have done lasting damage to Hollweg. In that case, he'd probably be looking at criminal charges and possible jail time.


And, he should feel fortunate for another reason. As an Islander, Simon is playing for longtime friend, Ted Nolan. Simon credits Nolan with helping him find his way as a young man and a junior player at Sault Ste. Marie. In this difficult time, Simon should feel lucky to have Nolan to lean on.


The 35-year-old winger has expressed contrition for his act in a written statement released by the Islanders. It retrospect, he clearly wishes he'd taken a different path. In an instant, in the heat of a chippy game, he snapped and made an unbelievably bad decision. He'll have to live with it. In the years to come, when fans think of Simon, they'll think of the March night when he almost took a guy's head off his shoulders with a hockey stick. I don't think Simon -- or anyone -- wants that to be his legacy.


The league, however, didn't need another missed call to be its legacy. To Campbell's credit, he got it very right. But, I guess when you have a title as long as his, you're supposed to get it right. Nice work. Now, can we please get back to the playoff race?


Some of the comments left on ESPN.com:


Sonic213 (3/11/2007 at 3:52 PM)


at least one person in the NHL front office has a good grasp on what his job is. although if Simon would have swung his stick at Gary Betteman i would be more than willing to forgive him.


Mbbuk55 (3/11/2007 at 5:57 PM)


EJ...you're 100% right about this situation. However, this is probably the first time Campbell has ever assessed a fair punishment for an on-ice incident against the New York Rangers. Campbell used to coach the Rangers and has acted bitterly towards them ever since. Earlier this season he suspended Donald Brashear a mere 1 game for a sucker punch to Aaron Ward comprable to that of Carmelo Anthony's (which warranted 15 games in the NBA). Campbell had no choice but to punish the repeat offending Simon, but if he could have it his way he would've put the blame on Hollweg and not assessed as long a suspension. Also, where was Colin Campbell when Colby Armstrong elbowed Brad Lukowich in the head early this week? All I saw was Armstrong beating my NY Rangers in OT on Saturday, when he should've been suspended for his on ice conduct.


jdcarlin13 (3/11/2007 at 6:29 PM)


I actually disagree with E. J. and feel the punishment was not harsh enough. I am a HUGE Isles fan and yet, for the good of the game, I feel an even longer suspension is warranted. Look, the team/league can still be supportive of Chris Simon in terms of anger-management classes, etc., but he should not be allowed on the ice after missing "only" 25 games. I suspect if the Hollweg's injury had been worse, a longer suspension would have been handed down.


Yen42185 (3/11/2007 at 6:46 PM)




cpfranko (3/11/2007 at 11:14 PM)


Like i said on my posting on your Blog EJ, its a shame that ESPN cant find better writers to cover sports like hockey. Its part of the reason why hockey has a bad rep. Your full of it EJ. PLease go read his blog and what he said the first time around(What was Simon Thinking? 3/9/07 ) He actually said that there was no foul on the play. If there was no foul then how can this suspension be the right message. The real question that you have now raised is why does ESPN bother paying you to write for them.


LeroyQuant (3/11/2007 at 11:25 PM)


I think the suspension was adequate. It was a "heat of the moment" incident, unlike Bertuzzi's calculated attack on Steve Moore. Simon's stick swinging looked heinously ugly, but the truth of it is Mr. Hollweg never missed a shift. Steve Moore will never play again. I think Todd Bertuzzi (and the NHL) got lucky when the lockout prevented them from having to make a difficult decision. Elbows to the head and hits from behind should be as severely punished as this incident. I think intent is crucial, but extent of injury is integral in choosing wheter, or how long, to suspend a player.


GB2435 (3/12/2007 at 1:48 AM)


Why did Hollweg skate right back towards a guy, who would board his kid in a father-son game, totally defenseless? What did you think Simon was going to do? High five for a good clean hit? Whatever, have fun golfing Chris...hope no one hits into you.


ForgeGod (3/12/2007 at 2:42 AM)


How is 25 games for a videotaped felony "tough"? I know ESPN likes to present a united front, and I'm sure the NHL would have been happy to grease some palms to get ESPN to say this was the right response, but come on. I wonder how much pressure got put on Hollweg (or how much money he got) to say he thought it was a fair penalty.


LeroyQuant (3/12/2007 at 4:07 AM)


To the man who called the incident a "videotaped felony"...I think that is an over exaggeration of the facts. By the way the law reads, things such as a slash to the wrist, and a trip could be construed as battery. When a wrestler smashes someone in the head with a folding chair it is not a felony. Rules on the playing surface are different than rules on the street. Boxing would be another example.


nithdurr (3/12/2007 at 4:37 AM)


LeroyQuantWell, in hockey, the purpose is to score goals and not engage in fist cuffs. I shudder to think of what would happen to Gretzky if he played in the last 10 years or so. He would probably be hurt all the time (sigh) I mean this wasnt a typical check and he was not trying to redirect the puck or keep the guy from doing his thing. How else do you explain a guy coming towards you and proceeds to bring his stick down on your face? Is he playing "hockey" in the spirit of the game? I think not. If he wants to fight then maybe the UFC would be a better fit. Then we can see how "tough" those people are! Futhermore, "When a wrestler smashes somebody in the head with a folding chair it is not a felony." You're right that's because wrestling is FAKE and maneuvers and especially props such as fake blood packets are used. They go to clinics/workshops on how to "sell" wrestling. How do you think all these wrestlers don't have broken necks from all those piledrivers and body slams from 2-3 floor scaffoldings during catch matches or even from the top turnbuckles (?) through tabletops?? :rolleyes:


bruins309 (3/12/2007 at 6:32 AM)


With the way the rules are now, the league is probably encouraging cheap stick work. Without the instigator rule, which almost all hockey people agree is a bad rule anyway, Simon would have probably dropped the gloves and they would have fought. That's the way it used to be done. Then again, one can call into question Simon's sanity and mental health from previous incidents...


rfm099 (3/12/2007 at 7:49 AM)


This is another hypocritical NHL response. Save for the Suter hit on Kariya, time and time again these incidents are thug on thug crime. The fact that the NHL referees make conscious choices on whether or not to "let teams play" is the underlying change agent. Review the 3 most famous incidents, all 3 were retaliatory acts based on a previous event. Again, save for the Suter hit, these are not initial hits. Look at the product you are selling, with the sizzle being the physical play, and tell me that the NHL does not condone this behavior through their own actions. The suspensions on largely irrelevant players is just a facade. Imagine a superstar reacting similarly to a thug - the NHL would have a tough decision on their hands.


grimpy_01 (3/12/2007 at 7:55 AM)


Yen42185... you couldn't be more correct. EJ is a water cooler regurgitator. I'm sure you've noticed 97.3% of his columns come out 2 or 3 days after everyone has already discussed it. Nothing like repeating what's been said 20 times and mooching off other people's opinions.Leroy.. every hear of Marty McSorley?? same stick work different outcome (thankfully). McSorley was charged with assault.Simon is a goon always has been always will be. time to put him out to pasture and make room on the roster for someone with talent.


johnrob5 (3/12/2007 at 9:10 AM)


The Chris Simon penalty is not harsh enough. Two inches lower and your talking assault with a deadly weapon and possible manslaughter. Simon's swing definitely had intent. He could have easily killed Hollweg had he hit him in the throat. Simon should not be allowed back on the ice period. Support him through classes, but do not allow him back. Send the message that no player can do this. In 35 years of watching hockey, I have not seen anything this bad.


phatmo803 (3/12/2007 at 10:21 AM)


This is a disgrace. The NHL has gotten so out of hand for the last 10 years it has become a joke. 25 games, please. That should be rest of regular season + the potential for 28 playoff games. I hate that no one mentions that Hollweg did check Simon FROM BEHIND into the boards which sparked hit. What simon did was worse, but if Simon didn't snap, we'd be talking about a blatant check from behind that could've caused another Erik Cole type injury


jenjenlucas (3/12/2007 at 10:32 AM)


Are you kidding me? This was not as bad as Bertuzzi's calculated attack on Moore? Simon got lucky. He swung a stick at a guy's head. A hockey stick which routinely cuts guys open by accident and he two handed it at a guy's head. Bertuzzi swung a gloved fist - the least of an NHL player's weapons. 9 out of 10 times nothing happens. Anytime you swing a stick somebody gets hurt. This is a guy with repeated suspensions. This is bad for hockey. Suspension should have been much higher. Simon was lucky he got Hollweg on the chin and did no real damage. Ridiculous that the suspension in this case was not much longer only because Hollweg was not seriously injured. Simon is lucky to be still able to play hockey.


urungus (3/12/2007 at 10:40 AM)


Bleeding hearts who think this is the worst thing they've ever seen don't know much about hockey history: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/columns/top10/hockey_lowlights.html By historical standards, this was a minor incident. It's not like Hollweg had his skull fractured like Ted Green. Yet Simon is getting the longest suspension in NHL history. What more do you want? Are you offended by the movie Slapshot? If so, you have no business being a hockey fan. Hockey's a tough game. If you can't stomach what Simon did perhaps you'd find figure skating more to your liking.


jusdane (3/12/2007 at 11:33 AM)


For me, the punishment fits the crime. Whether Simon snapped or not is irrelevant, as is the fact that Hollweg only needed a few stitches. Banning him for life is rediculous thinking. The front office is in a fashion setting precedent. 25 games for a serious premeditated act is a acceptable message for determent. Criminal legal actions could additionally be taken in the event an attacked player were permanently injured, but if you watch and know hockey, you know that it is a contact sport whereas contact is made all the time with the stick. If "banning for life" were the verdict some of you tree huggers suggest (which may not even hold up in court legally), then the front office would have to review every major similar incident with only two choices . . . ban for life or look the other way. Think of the mess that would create. If you don't understand, then maybe you shouldn't watch hockey and stick to Ice Capades or Ice Skating with the Stars.


eulernt (3/12/2007 at 12:52 PM)


Yen, posting in all caps doesn't make your opinion right. I agree with the suspension, I even agree with you, if he's done this type of thing before, get rid of him. But I don't see how you could call that hit by Hollwig clean. That was a check to the back that put Simon headfirst into the boards. A hit like that could easily have snapped Simon's neck, and killed or paralyzed him. It definitely should have been a penalty (could have been called at least 3 different ways), and for that reason, I can totally see why Simon snapped. If someone just did something to you that could have resulted in your death, wouldn't you have fought back?

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