Minnesota Wild defenseman Sean Hill was suspended for 20 games by the NHL for failing a drug test. We still don't know what "positive" result came back, but the League immediately hit him with 20 games. Of that, he served one game, and still owes 19. We all remember that. That's not the point.
The NHL decided to forbid him from participating in preseason games. Meanwhile, it has decided to allow the Islanders' Chris Simon to participate in the preseason even though he is still under suspension for his violent attack against Ryan Hollweg of the Rangers back in March.
As I pointed out on Tuesday, Simon's participation in a preseason tilt against the Rangers resulted in a huge brawl. I wondered on this page why he was allowed to play, and many people answered "because these games don't count". Of course I understand that, but I was (and still am) of the belief that a suspended player shouldn't be allowed to participate in any games (real or preseason) until he has served his suspension.
The problem here is that there's a double standard. The NHL has responded to this by saying "Terms of suspensions are case specific. Sean Hill's does not allow him to play" in the preseason.
We spun the wheel of disciplinary fortune, and Sean Hill hit a whammy while Chris Simon landed on "get out of jail free"
(Please pardon my mixing of two game shows and one board game to make that example)
Here's where it could get even trickier. Steve Downie from the Flyers will have a hearing with NHL disciplinarian Colin "Clownshoes" Campbell on Friday for his violent check of the Senators' Dean McAmmond. If Downie is suspended, Colin Campbell will have a lot of explaining to do in how he doles out the number of games and the remainder of the preseason.
Since these games "don't count", couldn't one make a silly argument that his potential suspension should only be for other exhibition games? Obviously that's a farce, but it would fall suit with the mutual exclusivity of regular season and pre-season rationale that allows Simon to play in the preseason.
You've probably seen the hit by now, but please check out this clip of it because it has a gem at the end.
There is no audio in the first 25 seconds of that video, but the bit that really gets me is Sens coach Bryan Murray talking about a "lack of respect" among players. He essentially calls Downie a "dirty player".
Hey Bryan... You ever hear of a guy named Chris Neil? Check your team's roster.
I will be very curious to see how this all pans out.