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Weird Islanders: The Podcast! - Episode 13 - Chris Simon (with guest Eric Needell)

A can of worms that keeps on giving.

Mike and Dan are joined by friend and longtime Islanders fan Eric Needell to talk about Chris Simon, a tough guy who packed a lot into his short time on Long Island.

After a big trade, one Stanley Cup and about a million fights, Simon signed with the Islanders thanks to coach Ted Nolan, with whom he shared a special relationship. Although his big penalty minute (and outlier scoring) seasons were behind him, Simon made himself into a valuable player on a team loaded with mercenaries.

But two long, shameful suspensions within a few months of each other brought his NHL career to an unceremonious close, and he faced many difficulties in his off-ice life. The guys talk about the rare highlights and sobering lowlights of a player who meant a lot to Islanders fans for a very brief period of time.

Eric also tells his tale of getting to ask GM Garth Snow just how Chris Simon, of all people, ended up as a top line winger. The answer will not shock you.

Thanks again to Eric for coming on. He probably has many, many more Leboff stories to share.


  • Hope you like fights and suspendable offenses. Because that’s mostly what you get when you search for Chris Simon on YouTube. Here’s a row with Todd Fedoruk:
  • and one with Mark Fraser:
  • Suspension No. 1: The Ryan Hollweg Incident:
  • Suspension No. 2: The Jarkko Ruutu Incident:
  • But he did have a big two goal performance in a wild game against the Penguins:

What makes a “Weird Islander?”

We’re always open to suggestions about other Weird Islanders to discuss. Remember the criteria. Candidates must fulfill one of the two of the following:

  • Played one (1) season or less for the Islanders or very short stints over multiple seasons.
  • Be a veteran NHLer who is not generally associated with his time on Islanders.

Visit our friends!

  • Vintage Ice Hockey for t-shirts, hoodies and mugs with hundreds of classic hockey logos, and our Al Arbour shirts which benefit dementia research. Use the code LIGHTHOUSE15 to save 15%.
  • Betway, the official betting partner of the NHL. Please play responsibly.
  • The Pinot Project has Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio and Rose all under $15. Available at local wine stores and UBS Arena.

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Theme song: “Knuckles” by Björn Falk. Hear more of his music on Spotify and at Bandcamp.

Drum sfx via