I’m all for second chances, but I have a real tough time justifying an eighth opportunity in the NHL for Chris Simon. Simon slew-footed Jarkko Ruutu after the two exchanged verbal pleasantries at centre ice on Saturday, and then proceeded to stomp on the side of Ruutu’s foot with the blade of his skate.
This is the same Simon who has played just 26 games since serving the end of his 25-game suspension for attempting to decapitate Ryan Hollweg last spring.
Simon admitted yesterday that there is no excuse for his grotesque act on Ruutu and is taking time away from the New York Islanders to undergo counselling and reassess his future in hockey.
When Colin Campbell announces the seventh suspension of Simon’s career, he needs to ensure it’s the last one by booting Simon out of the game for at least the remainder of the season. An even stronger message would be sent if he banned Simon for good, but Campbell will most likely deliver a maximum penalty of the Islanders’ remaining schedule.
That way, Simon will be ushered out of the game the same way Marty McSorley was — with no team willing to sign him. This latest intentional act of brutality proves that Simon hasn’t figured out what’s acceptable after more than 14 years in the NHL, and Campbell needs to take the privilege of playing this great game away.
•While Roberto Luongo will be back between the pipes for a highly anticipated goaltending duel with Martin Brodeur tonight, don’t expect to see Brendan Morrison donning Canucks’ colours until March.
Morrison has undergone wrist surgery and will be in a cast for six weeks before he can even begin rehabbing the injury. He’ll most likely require the entire month of February to rebuild the requisite strength and flexibility in his wrist and forearm, but Morrison is intent on getting back in the lineup later this season.
That sound you hear is opportunity knocking loudly for both Mason Raymond and Jason Jaffray.
•You get elected Prime Minister of Canada, you’re guaranteed a four-to-five year term in office. But if you play for the Philadelphia Flyers or New York Islanders, you can get a contract for three times as long.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren signed Mike Richards to a 12-year, $69-million US deal late last week, which is still three years shorter than the 15-year contract Rick Dipietro inked in Long Island prior to last season. Those funds are guaranteed whether Richards performs well or not. Unless Holmgren is driving around in a De Lorean these days, this move is more irrational than Amy Winehouse at 4 a.m.
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