Former NHLer sentenced to probation

Neil Bowen, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:51 PM ET

SARNIA, Ont. — A former professional hockey player who was cited as a role model for local youth was sentenced to six months probation for stealing groceries Tuesday in Sarnia court.

Jason Simon, 40, of Sarnia, pleaded guilty to the June 13 theft at a Sarnia grocery store.

The retired forward played more than 20 seasons of professional hockey, including five games in the National Hockey League with the New York Islanders and Phoenix Coyotes.

“I am totally embarrassed by my actions. There’s no excuse,” Simon told the court.

Simon walked into the store, tore a tag off a reusable grocery bag and loaded it with $80 worth of meat and produce.

The theft was witnessed by store security and he was arrested after stepping outside.

Defence lawyer David Stoesser said Simon was going through a personal crisis at the time and was drinking heavily. He has since sought help for emotional turmoil and alcohol abuse.

Since retiring from hockey, Simon has works on recreational programs at the Aamjiwaang First Nation, where he has been cited as a role model for youth.

Justice Mark Hornblower granted a discharge, which will leave him without a criminal record provided he successfully completes the probation.

It’s difficult to imagine what motivated him to steal given Simon’s contributions to the community, the judge said.

“We expect a lot more (from role models).”


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