SUN Hockey Pool

Conroy believes d-man got break

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

CHICAGO -- Craig Conroy is close friends with Chris Pronger.

But even the Calgary Flames centre feels Pronger dodged a bullet with the eight-game suspension handed him by the league yesterday.

"You hate to say it, but probably the league gave him a little break," Conroy said. "For whatever reason, they felt eight was plenty. He is getting punished, but with the skates, you have to very careful."

Pronger was handed the banishment -- the eighth suspension of his NHL career -- for stomping on the leg of Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler. No penalty was called, and Kesler was not injured.

Earlier this season, former Flames winger Chris Simon received a 30-game suspension for stomping on the foot of Pittsburgh Penguins agitator Jarkko Ruutu.

"It's going to be one of those things where it's different situations for different guys," Conroy said. "Si had already a couple of incidents where he slashed the guy in the face and whatnot, and I think it was a matter where they wanted to throw the book at him."

Pronger, the Anaheim Ducks captain, will return for his team's regular-season finale April 6.

No Flames asked had seen footage of the incident, so they were leery of commenting fully.

"I'd have to see it to make a judgement," said defenceman Robyn Regehr. "But stepping on somebody -- even though the circumstances were different from Chris Simon -- is serious."


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