NHL Meets With Chris Simon on Tues.
Nov. 10, 1997
NEW YORK (AP) _ Chris Simon, the suspended left wing of the Washington Capitals, finds out Tuesday if the NHL will further discipline him for making a racial slur at a black player.
Simon will meet with Brian Burke, the league's director of hockey operations, to explain his actions toward Edmonton Oilers forward Mike Grier.
Simon, an American Indian, directed the remark at Grier near the end of the game last Saturday night in Landover, Md., according to players and game officials.
``That's what was strange to me _ that it was someone who has his background and his race,'' Grier said. ``I didn't expect it to come from another minority. It's just a little more shocking.''
Simon, who honors his Ojibwa tribe heritage with long hair and a tattoo, had no comment.
In its preliminary review, the league examined the reports of game officials, talked by telephone with Simon and two on-ice officials who heard the remarks.
The game ended with players shouting at each other. Officials separated the players before any punches were thrown. Simon was given a gross misconduct penalty.
``I definitely heard a racial slur from Mr. Simon,'' Oilers coach Ron Low said. ``I thought with his race and proud background that he wouldn't do that.''
Bryan Lewis, NHL vice president of officiating, confirmed the episode, saying, ``Yes, there were racial remarks made on the ice.''
This is not the first time Simon has run into trouble. In his final year of junior hockey in 1991-92, he was suspended six times and missed 33 games playing for the Soo Greyhounds and Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League.
In one game with the 67's, Simon slammed his stick into an opposing player's face, taking out seven teeth and requiring 21 stitches. Simon was suspended for 12 games and later traded to the Greyhounds.
This year, Simon has two goals and two assists. He recently came back after being sidelined with a bruised shoulder.
The five-year NHL veteran had nine goals and 13 assists last season, his first with Washington after coming over in a trade from Colorado. He had a career-high 16 goals in 1995-96, when the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup.