Native hockey player put on extended paid leave
Chris Simon, an Ojibwa from Canada, was put on extended paid leave by the New York Islanders after a second injury incident involving another player.

Simon, 35, pushed down and stepped on the foot of another player. The National Hockey League was deciding whether to suspend him when the Islanders announced the leave on Monday.

The incident at Saturday's game followed another this past March in which Simon hit another player in the face with a hockey stick. The NHL suspended Simon for 25 games.

Coach Ted Nolan, who is also Ojibwa from Canada, said Simon's actions don't represent the Islands. But he said the team stands by their fellow player, who will be undergoing counseling.

"That is one of the easiest things people do in life, when there's a problem, you get rid of the problem and pretend it doesn't exist. We're much more compassionate than that," said Nolan, who helped Simon recover from alcoholism.

Simon was suspended during the 1997-1998 season for allegedly using a racial slur against an African-American player, after that player reportedly made remarks about his Native heritage [Wikipedia Bio].

Get the Story:
After Latest Incident, Isles’ Simon to Get Help (The New York TImes 12/18)
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Simon leaves Islanders, seeks aid following another penalty for attempt to injure (AP 12/17)

Relevant Links:
Chris Simon, ESPN - http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/players/profile?statsId=595
New York Islanders - http://www.newyorkislanders.com

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Native hockey player suspended for season (3/12)