An open letter I plan to e-mail into the Gary Bettman call-in show tomorrow.
Dear Gary Bettman and Colin Campbell,
Shame on you both. I hold you both responsible as the Commissioner and Czar of Discipline respectively.
First the NHL had to be pressured to review Chris Pronger's stomp on Ryan Kesler. Then when it did, Mr. Campbell only gave Pronger a slap on the wrist in an eight-game suspension. Yet Chris Simon, who did the exact same thing, received a 30-game suspension.
Mr. Campbell I read your retort to Simon. The reactions by both players were in the same context. Both players were hacked off and both retaliated in the same way. At the time of their most recent unsportsmanlike conduct, both had seven previous suspensions against them. Both had recent previous suspensions too.
It galls me to no end the hypocrisy and the double standard between the two suspensions. Mr Bettman, I read your reply to a player who didn't like the new sweaters earlier this year, and you said it was just one player who didn't like them. Well Mr. Bettman, I am not just one die-hard NHL fan who feels Pronger's most recent suspension was too light.
A majority of fans feel the same way I do. I can find the polls that prove it too.
It's not just fans who feel this way either, many NHL journalists do too. Scott Morrison with CBC and Wes Goldstein with CBS to name just two off the top of my head. Again, I can find more.
Why is there this double standard? Is it because Pronger is a high-profile player and Simon is a fourth-line player? Is it because Brian Burke formerly worked at NHL offices? Is it because the NHL is supporting Sunbelt teams and newer teams more than traditional teams?
These inconstancies, double standards, and improprieties shine a negative light on the NHL. They take away from a wonderful sport. I hope in the future they are eliminated.
Thank you for your time.