ST. PAUL, Minn. – Chris Simon thinks there’s something wrong with the NHL’s system for handing out discipline.
After watching Anaheim’s Chris Pronger step on Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler and walk away unpunished, the oft-suspended Minnesota Wild forward wondered why.
“It would be nice to have things treated fairly, at least,” Simon said after the Wild practised on Friday. “I don’t think in that instance it’s fair at all. I couldn’t believe right away that nothing was going to be done about it. I still can’t believe it.”
The play happened Wednesday night when Pronger and Kesler became tangled behind the Vancouver net. As Pronger turned to head back up ice, replays show him stepping on Kesler’s leg as the Canucks forward lay on the ice.
The NHL did not discipline Pronger for the incident, but suspended Simon 30 games for stomping on the leg of Pittsburgh’s Jarkko Ruutu earlier this season.
“I watched the tape and I think the tape’s self-explanatory,” Simon said. “It shows what he did.”
Simon has a long history of run-ins with the league, including a 25-game suspension for a two-handed, stick-swinging attack on New York Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg last year while Simon played for the New York Islanders. He has been suspended eight times in his 15-year career.
Simon, acquired last month by the Wild on trade deadline day, never said Friday that his suspensions were unwarranted. Instead, he was looking for Pronger, who also has a history of suspensions, to get a similar penalty.
Pronger has been suspended seven times in 14 seasons, including twice in the playoffs last year while leading the Ducks to the Stanley Cup title. One of those incidents was a vicious elbow to the head of Ottawa’s Dean McAmmond that caused him to miss the final two games of the championship round.
“It’s more disappointing that I can get the amount of games that I get and the player never misses a shift, and other players can hurt players,” Simon said. “And then the same thing, if not twice, happens in the Vancouver-Anaheim game and there is not even a review. It is decided there is no suspension.”