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Simon won't face charges

March 20, 2007|From the Associated Press

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

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 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 arrested.

"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."

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.

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