Simek excited for the upcoming season – but does he want to be with sharks?
Radim Simek is excited for the upcoming NHL season…but is he excited to be with the San Jose Sharks?
Simek’s agent, Marc Levine, sent this short statement to San Jose Hockey Now today: “Radim is excited to return to the States in August and is looking forward to the 2022-23 season.”
Simek appeared in 28 of the Sharks’ first 46 games last season. After March 5, however, the mostly healthy Simek played in just two of San Jose‘s remaining 27 games. In one of those two appearances, the defender played forward for the first time since he was 12 years old.
The Czech defender then made waves after the year when he told Hokej.cz: “I was told that young guys should play [in my place]. The coaches told me that the decision came from management. Management told me it was just the call from the coaching staff. Someone flat out lied to me, they didn’t tell me the truth.
REPORT: Simek says sharks lied to him
Of course, the San Jose Sharks now have new management in general manager Mike Grier and a head coach in David Quinn. Grier and Quinn replace Joe Will and Bob Boughner respectively.
It could be a fresh start for the hard-hitting defender, who burst onto the scene in 2018-19 and impressed until he was brought down by a nasty knee injury in March 2019. Since then he’s been in and out of alignment.
Simek took a regular shift for the Czech Republic, bronze medalists at the last world championships, averaging more than 16 minutes a night.
It’s unclear, however, if Grier and Simek have discussed the veteran fullback’s charges. The 29-year-old, who is entering the third season of a four-year, $9 million deal ($2.25 million AAV) has been the subject of trade rumors for the past two seasons due to his cost compared to its reduced playing time.
The industry thinks the Sharks should attach a draft pick or some other incentive to get out of Simek’s contract. It’s unclear if there have been any interested parties or if Grier is actually willing to add anything to subtract Simek.
San Jose could use cap space though: RFA Mario Ferraro remains unsigned and Evander Kane’s grievance remains unresolved.
At the moment, it looks like there’s still a big question mark over whether or not Simek will start the season with the San Jose Sharks — or if he wants to.
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