A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Simon gets record setting suspension

On Monday, the Islanders did what I expected them to do. They asked Chris Simon to step away from the team. They placed him on a "paid leave" and suggested that he get counseling and other things before returning to the team. They stressed that he was still part of the team and that he would be able to rejoin them when he got himself straightened out. They did this before the league made its ruling on the punishment to fit his heinous crime. Perhaps they wanted the league to go easy on him since they were handling things "in house". The league did not go easy on him.

Most NHL disciplinary cases are dealt with via conference call. This one was dealt with in person on Tuesday. The meeting is said to have lasted 30 minutes, and instead of immediately deciding upon a suspension, Colin Campbell et al decided to sleep on it. The ruling came in on Wednesday: 30 games. He will forfeit $292,683 in salary and will be eligible for reinstatement in February. This is the longest suspension in the history of the NHL, longer by five games than the suspension he finished earlier this season. Longer by five than Jesse Boulerice's crosscheck to the face of Ryan Kesler. Longer by seven than the one given to Marty McSorley.

Simon has tallied just three (1/2) points in 26 games played this season. He missed the first five while finishing his 25-game suspension and will now miss the next 30.

Campbell said, in part:
"...while the act itself was extremely dangerous, the fact that this is the eighth incident requiring the imposition of supplementary discipline on Simon compelled me to impose a very severe penalty in this case.

When a player repeatedly evidences the lack of ability to control his actions and conducts himself in total disregard of the rules, as well the health and safety of other players on the ice, each subsequent incident is deserving of enhanced scrutiny and more severe discipline. This response serves not only the purpose of imposing appropriate punishment for the player involved, but also the purpose of deterring the player and all other players from engaging in similar conduct in the future - hopefully creating a safer long-term work environment for all NHL players."

Simon is expected to appeal the suspension, but I don't suppose it will be to any avail.

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