Respected veteran role player adds grit and experience
The Islanders have signed veteran left wing Chris Simon to a one-year contract, reuniting him with Ted Nolan, his head coach during his final year of junior hockey. Last season with the Calgary Flames, the 6-3, 220-pound Simon was 8-14-22 with 94 penalty minutes in 72 games. The previous NHL season, Simon helped lead the Flames to the Stanley Cup Final after he was dealt by the Rangers to Calgary at the trade deadline, scoring five goals in 16 playoff games.
"Chris brings so much experience and so many intangibles to the Islanders," said Vice President and general manager Neil Smith. "He's been one of the game's most respected leaders and effective role players for more than a decade. As he proved in Calgary by averaging around 12 minutes a game, he still has plenty of hockey left in him. Chris is going to be a terrific mentor for our young players because he is all about the team. We're very proud to have Chris Simon as a member of the New York Islanders."
The 34-year old Simon won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996. In 677 career NHL games with Quebec/Colorado, Washington, Chicago, the Rangers and Calgary, Simon has 133 goals, 142 assists, 275 points and 1,690 penalty minutes. He also has 10 goals and 18 assists in 79 playoff games.
As a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League in 1991-92, Simon was coached by the Islanders' new head coach, Ted Nolan. Like Nolan, Simon is an Ojibwa Indian and is very active in the First Nations community.
"I was extremely interested in coming to the Islanders and I'm very happy things worked out," said Simon, originally selected 25th overall by Philadelphia in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. "I've known Ted for a long time and I'm so excited about having him as my coach again. Neil Smith said I had an important role with the Islanders, and as a player you love to hear that from the general manager. I'm really looking forward to my first training camp as an Islander."