To his teammates, Chris Simon isn't a stick-swinging, skate-stomping fiend. To the NHL, he is an out-of-control enforcer.
The New York Islanders forward was given a 30-game suspension yesterday, breaking the mark of 25 games he was hit with last March, and that Flyer Jesse Boulerice was given in October.
Simon is on a leave of absence following his Saturday dustup with Jarkko Ruutu when he tripped the Penguins player and then stomped on his skate.
The 35-year-old, 15-season veteran left the Islanders on Monday to receive counseling, then met with league disciplinarian Colin Campbell on Tuesday.
"I am hoping both the 30 games . . . and the actual help he's going to get . . . will help Chris deal with the problem he has," Campbell said.
On March 11, Simon was suspended 25 games for his stick attack on Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg. He was suspended five other times for on-ice acts and received a three-game ban in 1997 for a racial slur.
* Ryan Malone left the Penguins in Boston and returned to Pittsburgh to be treated by team doctors for an infected cut on a leg.
* Minnesota sophomore forward Kyle Okposo is leaving college to sign with the Islanders.
In last night's games:
* At Anaheim, Matthieu Schneider's goal 3:31 into overtime gave the Ducks a 2-1 win over Colorado.
* At Uniondale, N.Y., Maxim Afinogenov scored late in the third period and Ryan Miller made 42 saves to lift the Sabres to a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders.
* At Detroit, Niklas Kronwall assisted on four goals as the Red Wings beat Los Angeles, 6-2.
* At Chicago, Patrick Kane and Robert Lang each scored two goals as the Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators, 5-2. *