-- New York Islanders
forward Chris Simon
has been suspended for 30 games, without pay, for deliberately kicking Pittsburgh Penguins
forward Jarkko Ruutu
at 14:06 of the third period of NHL Game #472 on December 15, 2007. Simon will be eligible to return to NHL play in two months (February 21, 2008 vs. Tampa Bay).
"Several factors were considered in imposing the longest suspension in NHL history for an on-ice incident," said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. "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.
“In addition, 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."
Based on his average annual pay, and the fact that he is considered a repeat offender, Simon forfeits $292,683.00. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.