"I missed being around the guys and the team," said Simon after practice. "I'm ready to get back out there and help the team. I've learned from my mistakes. I'm going to try and be the best I can be when I come back. What happened in the past is always going to be there, but I look to now and getting ready for tomorrow."
Luckily when he says tomorrow he means it as a figure of speech. He's not eligible to return in tonight's game, but he is eligible to return next Thursday when the Islander's host the Tampa Bay Lightning.
I have a feeling that I speak for most Islander fans when I say this, but why would this guy be returning to the lineup? We know that this 30-game suspension, the longest in NHL history, was not the 1st, not the 2nd, but the 8TH
of his career. Let's look back and see what Chris Simon had to say after his 25-game suspension after the barbarian baseball swing to the head of Ryan Hollweg:
"I want to apologize to my team and Islanders fans everywhere. My actions Thursday night played a major part in our team losing a crucial game. I also want to apologize to the National Hockey League for the damage I have caused this great game of ours."
Sounds like a sincere apology of a man who has learned his lesson. And then this happens:
<object><width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/...t;</param><param
name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/...KeVb_G-PI&rel=1"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
For a man who claimed that the Hollweg accident was an admitted mistake, that it not only hurts our game of hockey but the Islanders organization, his career, and the chance to win, he really did a number once again.
I would like to add that he blamed the Hollweg incident on the fact that he had suffered a concussion after Hollweg's hit from behind. At first we all thought that may have been the case. But after seeing him stomp on Ruutu's leg, COMPLETELY UNPROVOKED
we have to wonder if he honestly did suffer a concussion.
When we signed Chris Simon two summers ago I was psyched. I realized we now had a tough team that would be competitive and no longer be pushed around by the bigger and stronger teams of the East. If you ask me now, I'd rather have Hilary Duff playing on the fourth line than this man. He has disgracefully placed himself deep in the wasteland of hockey goons and mistakes, and clearly shows he does not know how to learn from them.
I know that everyone in their lifetime makes mistakes and agree with Ted Nolan that people do deserve 2nd chances. Hell I'd even say sometimes people deserve a third chance. Too bad Chris Simon already had 7 in his career before this one. And this was his second chance with the team. And now who do they sit? Nielsen? Tambellini? Bergenheim? Comeau? The young guys who have more talent and desire to play this game in their pinky-toe when compared to Chris Simon?
This guy got his second chance. He messed up. He admitted it. He was supposedly "concussed". Fine. The coaching staff and organization did not want him to enter free agency with a dark cloud over his head that would have prevented any team from showing interest in him forcing him most likely into early retirement. He said he would relish the opportunity to redeem himself, his career, and why he wants to be apart of the New York Islanders. And what does he do? Stomp on someone's leg for absolutely no reason. And after seeing recently what happened to Richard Zednik in a freak accident where Jokinen's foot went up into the air out of control, imagine what could have happened to Ruutu's ankle with 225 pounds of force coming down on it? I wouldn't be surprised if Simon would have been put in jail.
Let him sit in the press-box. This team doesn't need him. There is nothing he can do to help this team. His stats had faded, (1-2-3 in 26 GP) and he did not drop the gloves or throw hits consitently. He was a waste of a roster spot.
The only way I can see it being a positive that Chris Simon plays, is that somehow we find a team that would be willing to take him from us. Send us a bag of pucks and half-used roll of tape, I don't care.
Hopefully this will be the last of him on our team.
**Quick tid-bit** In an event of irony, Chris Simon's hit on Ryan Hollweg was exactly three years to the day of the Todd Bertuzzi incident.