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Chris Simon draws 30-game suspension, longest in NHL history

NHL.com @NHL

NEW YORK (AP) - New York Islanders forward Chris Simon was banned for 30 games Wednesday, drawing the longest suspension in NHL history again.

The Islanders confirmed the suspension by the league for Simon's latest infraction - stepping on Pittsburgh's Jarkko Ruutu with his skate during a game last weekend.

Simon missed the first five games of this season while completing a 25-game ban handed out in March. That was the previous record for an NHL suspension. This is the seventh time in Simon's career that he has been suspended.

The 35-year-old player went on a paid leave of absence Monday to receive counseling, and then met with the league's disciplinarian Colin Campbell on Tuesday.

Simon agreed he needed time away from hockey after he stomped on Ruutu during a 3-2 loss to the Penguins on Saturday. Simon drew a match penalty when he pulled out Ruutu's leg with his, sending the forward to his knees between the team benches. He then stepped on the back of Ruutu's leg with his skate, and was ejected.

"Since Saturday night, the focus of the New York Islanders has been on Chris Simon the person, not him as a player or on his place in our lineup," Islanders general manager Garth Snow said in a statement confirming the suspension.

"As we announced on Monday, the Islanders are going to provide Chris the time and support he needs for counseling. For Chris right now, hockey must be secondary to the priority of taking care of himself."

On March 11, Simon was suspended 25 games - 15 regular-season games, five playoff games, and five games to open this season - for his two-handed stick attack to the face of New York Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg.

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