Radim Simek continues to inch closer to a return to the San Jose Sharks. However is it possible that he could be replaced by another skater on this deep blueline?
The rise of Radim Simek within the San Jose Sharks organization was a bit surprising considering the lack of knowledge surrounding the blueliners style of play.
The Sharks offered Simek a one year deal in the summer of 2017 worth approx. 925,000 with some performance bonuses attached. This low risk gamble paid off big for San Jose throughout his limited time in Teal.
Simek brings a physical style of play to the game but is also very conscious about where he’s positioned on the ice. The 27-year-old isn’t the most explosive skater but he makes up for it with high energy plays. The Czech defender found a role on the left side of Brent Burns where he served as a stopgap for the offensive minded blueliner.
Prior to the ACL/MCL injuries that took him out of the most crucial parts of the Sharks season in 2018 – 2019. Simek was integral to their success throughout his 41 games on the roster. Nevertheless, the recent emergence of Mario Ferraro has muddled the narrative surrounding Simek’s level of importance to this Sharks roster.
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“It’s still hard because sometimes my knee is doing well and other days it’s pretty bad,” Simek said. “But now, for a couple weeks, it’s been pretty good. I hope the games come soon.”
Regardless of how Ferraro fairs during this first strech of games, Simek is still an extremely vital part of this Sharks blueline. It’s never a bad thing to have depth on defensively especially with the grind of the regular season taking its toll. But don’t be surprised if Simek spends a decent portion of the season in the press-box.
All of this won’t matter for at least a couple more weeks. Again Mercury News Curtis Pashelka comes in clutch this time getting the scoop regarding a timeline on Simek’s health from Coach Pete DeBoer.
#SJSharks DeBoer estimates that Simek is about 10-14 days away. Obviously gives Ferraro a lengthy audition
— Curtis Pashelka (@CurtisPashelka) October 1, 2019
This gives Mario Ferraro plenty of runway to get his feet wet in the NHL and luckily for the Sharks they have a backup plan if this rookie experiment fails to produce. The 21-year-old is eligible to get sent back down to the AHL without having to pass through waivers so if his play does falter San Jose’s front office likely won’t hesitate to reassign him to the Barracuda.
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Besides Radim Simek’s on ice impact, he is currently under contract for the next two seasons at an insanely team friendly price. This makes him pretty indispensable compared to other skaters like Tim Heed and Dalton Prout.
However the Sharks end up utilizing Simek it’s apparent that he’s willing to put in the work to earn his spot back onto this starting line-up. We’ll have to wait and see how the minutes get allocated when the blueliner is given the green light to return. Until then San Jose is definitely going to miss what Simek can bring to the ice.