As an NHLer, Chris has a resume of discipline that no one would want. He has surpassed the baddest of the bad boys in hockey, and twice while on the Islanders roster. As a man, he is unlike any of the others. When not on the ice, he seems uncomfortable with his formidable size that makes him stand out in a crowd. His voice is quiet and his demeanor gentle. But once on the ice, he's far from Nystrom and more like King Kong. There is a switch with a short in it inside his head.
Admirable again is Nolan's undying support and love for the man he nurtured from a troubled teen. He will never forsake him. But while not turning his back on him is definitely noble, can decisions be made that are for the good of everyone? I'm worried about that, just as I was worried that Chris would end up in a hotel room with a pen, a paper and a shot gun when the last suspension was handed down. None of this is easy -- for anyone.
The poll on NYIC was "Do you take him back after his suspension?" The overwhelming response is "NO." The Islander fans, although supportive during the first suspension, seem to want to cut ties with him. It has become more personal for the fans. The negative attention has taken it's toll on them and they want no more of it.
When I asked my dynasty die-hard of a husband about it, he said "Everyone loves a tough guy, but Simon isn't Nystrom or Gillies. Hell, he isn't even Godard or Cairns. He's more Tucker and Avery combined, and we don't need that." As harsh as that is, I think it may be a common sentiment.
But what about the man's livelihood? Do you take away his career when none of his "victims" suffered that fate? Actually, it was brought to my attention last night that non of Simon's on ice altercations resulted in any other player missing a game, perhaps not even a single shift. I didn't double check the information, but I trust the source. But Simon has lost a lot through bad judgement, perhaps in the long run, everything.
A small number of games will be all that remain when he finishes serving his punishment, but the games themselves could be significant depending on the standings. It will then be up to Charles and Company to decide his fate for the balance of the season. I'm glad it's not my decision. I'm glad I will not be the one weighing the pros and cons and dealing with the aftermath of a painful decision.
For Simon, I wish only the best, and hope that he can find his way in this world. For the Islanders, I wish this was easier.