Nobody on the Calgary Flames was condoning Chris Simon's actions that led to his record 25-game suspension.
That said, they weren't nearly as condemning as the NHL brass that banished the New York Islanders tough guy for at least the remainder of the season and any playoffs -- miniumum 25 games -- for his vicious high slash on New York Islander Ryan Hollweg Thursday night .
"Too much," said Flames forward and resident tough guy Eric Godard. "It was a vicious slash and warrants a pretty big suspension. But I hear everybody talking about him slashing him in the face but he never got him in the face. If he wanted to get him in the face, he'd have got him in the face. He hit him in the chest and it goes up and cuts him in the chin.
"The guy even stays down longer than he has to and you can see after the game and he's even kinda laughing about it. You could see he's got a little smirk, maybe it's relief he didn't get killed. But I don't think it warrants the kind of suspension as (Todd) Bertuzzi and (Marty) McSorley."
Simon has been suspended for the remaining 15 regular season games and a minimum of 10 more games, be them playoff or next season.
If the Islanders don't make the playoffs or don't play 10 post-season contests, the suspension is carried over to next season.
"I just think it's an unfortunate incident," said right winger Darren McCarty. "Anybody who knows Si knows it's one of those moments that he wishes he could have back.
"You can't condone what he did, it's very dangerous. Things happen but you've got to be responsible with your stick."
Daymond Langkow also wasn't surprised to hear the suspension's length given the optics of the play.
"You look at some of the things that have happened in the past and try to go off the suspensions those guys got," he said. "I think it looked worse than it was. It's a dangerous play, any time you get your stick up like that, it's not good."
To many Flames, though, a big cause for concern is Hollweg's role. An agitator, Hollweg has a reputation for hitting players late and while in vulnerable positions.
"What's Hollweg been doing for the whole year? You don't know," said Rhett Warrener, a teammate of Simon's here in Calgary. "You don't know the history, you haven't watched all the games so you don't know the extent of what's happened. Maybe Si's asked him a few times to fight to straighten it out that way, and he won't.
"Not that I'm condoning what what Chris did, I don't think anybody would, but there's a lot more to the story than the piece (of video) they're showing over and over."
Craig Conroy was one of many players saying the league must also look into why Simon retaliated so severely.
"When guys feel they've been cheapshotted and nothing happens, then they snap and, I think, that's when you've got the problems.