TORONTO, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- New York Islanders forward Chris Simon was suspended an NHL-record 30 games Wednesday for stepping on the leg of Pittsburgh's Jarkko Ruutu.
Game officials gave Simon a match penalty and a game misconduct for intent to injure when, during the third period of a game Dec. 15, he stepped on Ruutu. Although Ruutu wasn't seriously injured, NHL Vice President Colin Campbell, who met with Simon, said several other factors figured in the suspension.
"While it was fortunate there was no serious injury to Mr. Ruutu as a result of Simon's actions, the deliberate act of kicking an opponent with an exposed skate blade, especially where the opponent is in a vulnerable position, is and always has been a repugnant and totally unacceptable act in the game of hockey," Campbell said Wednesday.
Simon apologized for the incident and was placed on leave by the Islanders.
Simon, a 15-year NHL veteran, last year was suspended 25 games for a stick-swinging incident. He's been suspended a total of 15 games for various other infractions.
Simon, who will likely appeal the ban, won't be eligible to return to the lineup until Feb. 21.