Chris Simon has yet to learn his lesson from his baseball swing stick incident on New York Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg last season. Now he'll pay another price for his actions.
The New York Islanders forward eclipsed his own NHL-record for the longest suspension handed out by the league as he will miss 30 games without pay for Saturday's incident at the Nassau Coliseum. With an exposed skate blade, Simon deliberately kicked Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jarko Ruutu in the foot while already down on the ice during a scrum near the Islanders bench. Many hockey observers believe this goes beyond an act of thuggery, regardless of the player it was inflicted against is known as an agitator.
Simon finished up the previous record 25-game suspension in the first few weeks of this season after he clocked Hollweg in retaliation for a hard check along the boards back on March 8th. When this new suspension is completed on February 21, 2008, he will have amassed 65 games from suspensions in his career. This one alone will cost him nearly $293,000 in salary.
"Several factors were considered in imposing the longest suspension in NHL history for an on-ice incident," NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell stated in a league press release yesterday. "While it was fortunate there was no serious injury to Mr. Ruutu as a result of Simon's action, the deliberate act of kicking an opponent with an exposed skate blade, especially where the opponent is in a vulnerable position, is and always has been a repugnant and totally unacceptable act in the game of hockey."
The bottom line to all this is that Simon needs to be off the ice for a considerable period of time to get away from the game and if he needs professional help to get his emotions under control, then this is the best time he can rehabilitate his NHL career and his self-image.