Isles' Simon suspended 25 games for retaliatory hit

MINEOLA, N.Y. -- New York Islander Chris Simon, suspended a
league-record 25 games for a vicious on-ice hit, will not face
criminal charges.

Chris Simon Simon

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said her office
considered "the willingness of the potential victim to support a
criminal prosecution" and other factors in reaching its decision.

The NHL suspended Simon for his two-handed stick attack to the
face of the New York Rangers' Ryan Hollweg during a March 8 game at
the Nassau Coliseum.

Hollweg, who needed a few stitches on the chin but was not
seriously hurt, met with prosecutors from Rice's office last week
but told reporters afterward that he didn't think Simon should be

"I think a lot of it was based on the interview they had with
me and how I felt about the situation," Hollweg said Monday before
the Rangers faced Pittsburgh. "It's over now and done with and
time to move forward. No one is hurt and we can all move on.

"It's my opinion and that's how I wanted to deal with it.
There's certain things you can't do on the ice. There's a line
that's drawn and people can cross that line, but in my case, I
didn't want to press charges."

NHL players have been prosecuted for previous on-ice incidents.
The Vancouver Canucks' Todd Bertuzzi pleaded guilty to causing
bodily harm and missed 20 games for a blindside punch that left
Colorado forward Steve Moore with broken bones in his neck on March
11, 2004. And the Rangers' Marty McSorley was convicted of assault
with a weapon for slashing Vancouver's Donald Brashear in the head
with his stick in February 2000. Bertuzzi missed 20 games, and
McSorley was given an 18-month conditional discharge.

Simon must sit out the rest of the regular season and the
postseason, if the club advances. If the Islanders were to play
fewer than 10 playoff games, the suspension will carry over to next
season. The ban is the longest in terms of games missed in NHL
history, and it's Simon's sixth suspension.

Simon's agent was not immediately available to comment.