The NHL came down with its ruling and Steve Downie has been suspended for 20 games. Amazingly, Chris Pronger intentionally tried to hurt the very same guy and got a one game suspension, but Pronger is a cover-boy top athlete and Downie is a rookie. So Pronger got one game and Downie 20.
The only other suspensions in NHL history to garner the same extreme length as Downie's were caused by incidents a lot more unforgivable than the kid's check:
20 games — Todd Bertuzzi, Vancouver, March 11, 2004, for sucker-punching Colorado forward Steve Moore on March 8. Bertuzzi's suspension was for 13 regular-season games, plus playoffs. Bertuzzi was reinstated 17 months later, after the yearlong lockout.
20 games — Tom Lysiak, Chicago, Oct. 1983, for intentionally tripping a linesman.
20 games — Brad May, Phoenix, Nov. 15, 2000, for hitting Columbus' Steve Heinze on the nose with his stick in a game on Nov. 11.
I think the severity of Downie's punishment is undeserved and have expressed that belief before the judgement was even made (as you can see in earlier posts) but aside from that, the NHL even included this in the ruling:
Downie will miss the first 20 regular season and/or playoff games (in addition to the last Flyers' pre-season game - Saturday vs. NY Rangers) that he is a member of the Flyers' 23-man roster.
So this kid can't play in the game after being suspended for "deliberate injury of an opponent" while Chris Simon, whose "deliberate injury of an opponent" got him a 25 game suspension, was allowed to play preseason games? And subsequently was allowed to represent the team as an Assistant Captain??? Oh yeah, and to exact revenge in a game where his retribution wouldn't hurt his team??
Where is the justice? Where is Al Sharpton? This is clear-cut discrimination against a rookie! Age-ism! Goddammit, someone resurrect Johnnie Cochran!
Colin Campbell and the NHL has decided to make an example of a poor rookie who is just doing his best to impress his coaches so he will get a chance to play in the league. They didn't care when cover-boy Chris Pronger tried to kill the very same guy with a malicious elbow, no, not Chris - he is a Hart Trophy winner, he can't do any wrong. And Chris Simon, well he is a veteran and he just lost his mind for a second, it isn''t like he had a history of suspensions for violence before the incident - just four other suspensions (one for kneeing, one for elbowing and two for cross checking!).
This is like picking on the poor, the minority, someone who can't and won't stand up for himself for the meek hope not to rock the boat. This is pathetic, and this is not justice!