Last week, Chris Pronger decided to attempt to perform surgery on Ryan Kesler. One may say he recklessly started to stamp on Kesler’s leg. Others may say he was just dancing to “Cotton Eyed Joe”, which played on the arena’s PA system. Who’s to say for sure?
What’s important is what happened after the incident in question. Chris Pronger originally was exonerated by the NHL’s disciplinary committee. Then, when the video was slow-mo’d and enhanced, Pronger got an eight game suspension, despite my vehement defense. Now, noted douchebag Scott Burnside at ESPN writes that the disciplinary system should be more open and more judicial. In that spirit, after the jump, is my staunch defense of Chris Pronger, as given to the disciplinary committee, in the form of my closing argument at the re-hearing.
Mr. Colin Campbell, head of discipline for the National Hockey League, I beseech you to once again exonerate my client. It is clear that there is no conclusive proof that Mr. Pronger acted with malice aforethought. Look at the video again! He is merely trying to disentangle his skate from Mr. Kesler’s leg. Is it my client’s fault that Kesler’s leg was squirming about, and got in the way of his skate? Of course not.
And was Kesler hurt? By his own admission, he was not. Doesn’t there have to be injury to warrant suspension in this league? If you’re going to suspend my client, I demand amputation, or at least deep gashes.
And while we’re at it, was Olli Jokinen suspended for his heinous attack on Zednik? That man almost died, and Jokinen didn’t even get a fine! You call this justice? I say to thee nay! You’re trying to suspend my client with no actual proof he meant to do anything wrong–STOP REVIEWING THE TAPE ALREADY. He tripped! He was trying to put out a fire! He had a spring in his step and a song in his heart!
……Okay, my client is a douchebag. But since when is that grounds for suspension? Scott Burnside has been working all season. And what about Gary Bettman? How do you explain that?
…..umm….This is double jeopardy! Res judicata! You can’t try him twice for the same offense!
Okay, fine, but if you have to suspend him, can you at least let him back for the playoffs?
Sweet. Thanks, Colin!