Defence rests as Simon sits

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

Rhett Warrener still sees Chris Simon as a good person.

The kind of friend and teammate you want through thick and thin.

However, Warrener was not exactly shocked to see Simon handed a 30-game suspension yesterday by the league for using his skate to stomp on the leg of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jarkko Ruutu.

"I wouldn't have been surprised if they told him to go home, to be honest. You're fresh off a 25-game suspension, you can't be leaving yourself out there," Warrener said yesterday.

"That's not leaving yourself out there for interpretation. That's just plain old ugly or dangerous, dangerous hockey."

Simon's 30-game ban is the longest in NHL history for on-ice actions. He also was given a 25-game suspension late last season for a high slash on New York Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg.

Warrener somewhat defended Simon for the incident last season -- Hollweg is notorious for late hits and dangerous play -- but he couldn't do the same this time around.

"Last year with that slash, as ugly as it was, there are situations that sometimes predicate something happening. But this, he's got to learn a lesson at some point, too," Warrener said. "I'm sure he's kicking himself again, but Si knows as much as anyone. That's a scary play. You're not going to find a lot of compassion from players for that."

The suspension was a hot topic of conversation for the handful of players who went to the Saddledome yesterday, mainly those who needed treatment for injuries.

Robyn Regehr said he hadn't seen the incident, but he wasn't surprised to see the book thrown at Simon.

"To do something like that, the league must have thought it was pretty severe, and with him, he's got things working against him, just coming off a big suspension," he said.

Right winger Owen Nolan, a teammate of Simon's over parts of four seasons with Quebec and Colorado, said Simon's history -- seven previous suspensions -- warranted a bigger penalty than it would have been for others.

"I think if it's a first-time offence it wouldn't be as steep. It is a dangerous play, though," Nolan said. "It's tough, Chris is a friend of mine and you hate to see that.

"Coming from Chris, he's such a tough guy, he can handle himself on the ice without going that route."

Which, Warrener pointed out, will be Simon's legacy.

"This is pretty sad because he may now go down as one of the most notorious NHL players to ever play, "Warrener said.

"He's tough and plays hard and has quite a bit of skill. He's done some good things in his career, but he's not going to be remembered for those things and it's too bad."

PARDY DEMOTED

Yesterday was a day to rest for the Flames, but it was a day for more travel for defenceman Adam Pardy, who was sent to Quad City of the AHL.

Pardy has had two stints with Calgary this season, but is yet to see game action.


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