Chris Simon has re-signed on with the New York Islanders for a one year contract. The 14 year veteran, entering his 15th year in the NHL in 2007-08, Simon played in 67 games for the Islanders in 2006-07 and had ten goals with 17 assists for 27 points. Simon is seen as a popular player in Long Island for his tough play based mostly on enforcing & checking and scoring some important goals. The 35-year old native of Wawa, Ontario has won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996. He has played for Quebec/Colorado, Washington, Chicago, the Rangers and Calgary in his NHL career. In 73 playoff games, Simon has scored ten goals with seven assists for 17 points. Simon was drafted in the 2nd round (25th overall) of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers, but was traded as part of the infamous Eric Lindros deal to the Quebec Nordiques before playing any games for the Flyers.
Chris Simon has just completed his 14 game suspension for hitting Ryan Hollweg of the New York Islanders on March 8th, 2007. Hollweg had cross checked Simon into the boards and Simon got a concussion for that. Receiving no penalty call from the referee, an enraged Chris hit Hollweg in the face with a two handed swing of his stick. Hollweg had to get two stitches on his chin and Simon was suspended. He is also known for an incident involving black American player Mike Grier. In the 1997-98 season, while playing against the Edmonton Oilers, Simon taunted Grier by calling him a ‘nigger’ and was suspended for 3 games. This was in retaliation against Grier saying derogatory terms against Simon’s Native-Canadian heritage. Surprisingly Grier got no suspension for similar taunts but the two later made up and were teammates in 2002.
I have always liked Simon due to the fact that he is representing a minority in the NHL. His father, John, is of Ojibwa decendence while his mother, Linda is Canadian. As a teenager he struggled with an addiction to alcohol but was helped to sobriety by his and the New York Islanders new coach, Ted Nolan, in 1992. He was also more like a rock star with his long hair that he maintained until 2003 and was seen as a positive role model for Native Canadians & Native Americans alike, with the exception to those two incidents. He has won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 and also reached the finals twice – in 1999 with the Washington Capitals & in 2004 with the Calgary Flames. Hopefully he will have a couple of more years in the NHL without negative incidents.