Racial Slur Earns Simon a Three-Game Suspension

Associated Press

Chris Simon’s racial slur will cost the Washington Capital forward $36,585 in salary after he was suspended for three games by the league Tuesday.

Simon, an American Indian of the Ojibwa tribe, directed the remark at Mike Grier of the Edmonton Oilers, one of six African American players in the league, at the end of Saturday night’s game. He apologized to Grier for the episode Monday night and again Tuesday after a hearing with NHL vice president Brian Burke.

Simon, who already has served one game, flew to Toronto to meet Grier on Monday night, and the two talked for about five minutes.


“Chris was really struggling with what he said,” Grier said. “He said ‘I’m sorry’ and I believe him, he had a very sincere look in his eye. It takes a stand-up person to come up here and handle it the way he did. I accept his apology.”

Simon repeated his apology in a statement after Tuesday’s hearing.

“I want to publicly apologize to Mike Grier for my words,” he said. “I know they were unacceptable and I am very embarrassed by them. I also want to apologize to the public for what I said. My words caused a lot of pain. . . . I will commit myself to making sure that others understand how wrong I was and try to teach people not to make the same mistake.”


The Tampa Bay Lightning will identify its new coach by Friday, General Manager Phil Esposito said.

During his weekly radio show Tuesday, Esposito said he has made his choice, but declined to identify him because negotiations were ongoing.

Former Montreal coach Jacques Demers and Tampa Bay interim coach Rick Paterson are considered the top candidates, and former King coach Barry Melrose also has been mentioned.



Ohio’s NHL franchise will be called the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the owners are already feeling the sting of the fans’ wrath toward the name.

Owners of the franchise that begins play in 2000 announced the name Tuesday and showed off the mascot: Stinger, a snarling, red-eyed bug with a thick stinger, clad in a federal-blue jacket with stars on the collar and a cocked Union Army hat and carrying a fluorescent green hockey stick.

The logo features a swirling red banner dotted with white stars forming the letters “C” and “B”--for “Columbus” and “Blue.” A hockey stick in the middle forms a green “J” for “Jackets.”

“The colors are ugly, the name is stupid. . . . I’m ashamed to be in Columbus, Ohio, right now,” a caller to a local radio talk show lamented.

Why Blue Jackets?

The name is a bit of a takeoff on the yellow jacket, a wasp or hornet with yellow markings, which represents youth and the attitude, team spokesman John Christie said.

The Civil War cap and the blue jacket are symbols of local pride--Ohio had more soldiers in the Union Army per capita than any other state.