Islanders forward Chris Simon suspended indefinitely, pending hearing

The NHL suspended the New York Islanders forward indefinitely Friday pending a hearing with league disciplinarian Colin Campbell. That hearing will likely take place Saturday. “He’s suspended indefinitely pending a hearing, I can’t say anything else,” Campbell told The Canadian Press on Friday.

Simon struck New York Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg in the face with his stick in a game Thursday night. The hit flattened Hollweg with 6:31 remaining and left him motionless on his stomach for several minutes in the Rangers’ zone.

Simon was immediately ejected from the game, slapped with a match penalty for deliberate attempt to injure.

Hollweg recovered and needed only a few stitches to repair a cut on his chin. He did not return to the game but did practise Friday with the Rangers.

The ugly hit conjured memories of the shot Marty McSorley landed to the head of Donald Brashear seven years ago. McSorley was suspended for the final 23 games in the 2000 season for knocking out Brashear with a swinging stick. The ban was extended until February 2001 by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, and McSorley never played in the league again.

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“I think that’s just as bad as what Marty McSorley did to Brashear,” Rangers agitator Sean Avery said of Simon. “You can’t just two-hand a guy in the face with your stick.”

Bertuzzi missed the final 13 regular-season games and the playoffs because of his blindside punch to the head of Colorado’s Steve Moore on March 11, 2004. But the banishment was extended to 17 months and prevented him from playing anywhere during the yearlong NHL lockout.

He was reinstated by Bettman before the 2005-06 season.