Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Catching Up on a Busy Day

The Simon Suspension
I suppose thirty games is just about right. It had to be more than the previous, record-setting 25 games that Simon received last year. That punishment obviously did not serve its purpose, which should have been for Simon to examine his actions and take responsibility for his self-control. In reality, it's not the 30-game suspension that will do that either. It will take an honest effort at getting to the source of the loss of emotional control. Still, Colin Campbell had to raise the stakes. I wouldn't have been surprised or bothered if he had suspended Simon for the balance of the season.

I'm not thrilled to hear that Simon is appealing the decision. And at face value, I don't agree with Ted Nolan's assessment of the penalty as excessive. However, I think it's only fair to view things from other people's perspectives. So let's look at it like this: By NHL standards, Simon is not making a mint this year. lists his 2007-2008 compensation at $800,000. I know, nothing to sneeze at, and Simon has cashed in many a sizable paycheck over his career. But although these guys make way more than most of us, often their expenses are in proportion to their income. So imagine what it would be like if someone took away 37% of your salary. You'd fight to get as much back as you could. Anyway, I'm just trying to see the other side of it, and this is one line of reasoning I came up with. Who knows? The motivation for the appeal may not be financial at all.

Okposo Leaves Minnesota to Turn Pro After WJC
Despite hearing rumblings about this yesterday, I was really surprised to see it come to fruition so quickly. I didn't expect to see Okposo playing for the Islanders this year (still not a given he'll be with the big club), but I could have envisioned a jump to Bridgeport after Minnesota's season ended. The move certainly puts a damper on the theory that playing another year at the NCAA level was good for Okposo's development. But things change. Maybe Okposo, the Islanders, or both determined that the situation in Minnesota was no longer his best option for making progress as a player.

I'm still very uncomfortable with the idea of Okposo coming to the Isles as a savior. But with Buffalo having just gone ahead 2-1 with a little over 2 minutes left, it's time to add a skill player by any means possible. What remains to be seen is whether he can elevate the skills he's demonstrated up to this point for competition at the highest level. It's long past time for an Islanders forward prospect to do so.

New Twist on Defense
Tonight, Berard and Bergeron both sat and Freddy Meyer entered the lineup for only the second time since rejoining the team. Why not? I had this notion that Ted Nolan might go back to Bergeron even after his poor performance against Pittsburgh. You know, a reverse shakeup. Silly me. Throw Freddy in there, see what he can do. Apparently it didn't make much of a difference tonight as the power play was blanked in five chances. If Nolan continues to bench Berard and Bergeron, what I'd really like to see is Chris Campoli take ownership of the power play.

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