By Bryan Jeon
One day after holding a hearing, the league decided to suspend the New York Islanders’ Chris Simon for the final 15 games of the regular season and playoffs. If the Islanders don’t make the playoffs or play under 10 games in the playoffs, the remaining games will carry over into the beginning of next season.
The suspension is the longest dished out in NHL history, in terms of games missed (the previous high was 23 games handed out twice). Along with the ban, Simon will forfeit at least $80,200 for his stick attack on the New York Rangers’ Ryan Hollweg.
I believe that this is the bare minimum that NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, could have given Simon without receiving any heat from both sides of the punishing spectrum. Although the suspension might not seem like much, he handed out the longest ban in NHL history, and that’s a stepping stone to the message that the NHL wants to make in making this behavior anything but acceptable. Expect any future on-ice attacks to receive at least what Simon was dealt, as the punishment direction will only go up from here on out.
The 35-year old winger can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.