Monday, December 17, 2007

Simon steps aside from the Islanders, now waits for the NHL’s punishment

Two days after a rather ugly incident in the Islanders- Penguins game on Saturday night, the Islanders announced that Chris Simon has been granted a leave of absence of sorts from the Islanders.

In Saturday nights game, as the last minutes were winding down Simon pulled out Jarkko Ruutu’s leg and then stepped on it with his skate as he left the ice surface. It was a dangerous and foolish move that will no doubt be dealt with shortly by Colin Campbell.

Charles Wang provided a statement on behalf of the Islanders which stated: “The Islanders are going to provide some time for Chris away from the team and give him the counseling he needs and the compassion he deserves. When Chris is completely ready, he will be a member of our team again."

For his part, Simon apologized for his actions (not the first time he’s offered up an apology for an over the line move), claiming that there was no excuse for his actions.

"I want to start off by making clear that there is no excuse for my actions on Saturday night and I apologize to everyone involved," Simon said in a statement. "The Islanders and I agree that the right thing to do is for me to take some time away from the team.

"I have enjoyed a long career achieving my dream of being a player in the National Hockey League and I'm proud of my accomplishments. But I acknowledge that time and assistance is needed before I return to the game."

While he seeks out that assistance, he had best prepare for an even longer stay off the ice once he feels ready to come back to the game.

It’s the latest unsavoury incident committed by the Islander, who only recently served a twenty five game suspension for a two handed stick attack on Ryan Hollweg of the Rangers.

This latest deliberate attempt to injure a fellow player will be examined on Tuesday by the NHL and it’s expected that with Simon’s history working against him, that a lengthy and point making suspension is in the cards.

The careless disregard for each other is something that is beginning to become a concern for players and perhaps it’s now time for the NHLPA and the NHL to get together and reinforce that such activities will be dealt with immediately and without any form of clemency.

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