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Simek Ready for ‘Fresh Start’ With Sharks

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Credit: San Jose Sharks

Radim Simek is happy to get a fresh start…and with the San Jose Sharks.

That might be a surprise after the defenseman put the Sharks organization on blast in May. The 30-year-old was miffed because he appeared in just two of San Jose’s last 27 games during the 2021-22 season. In one of those two appearances, Simek actually played forward for the first time since he was 12.

“I was told younger guys must play [in my place]. Coaches told me the decision comes from management. The management told me it’s just the coaching staff’s call,” Simek told Hokej.cz before the World Championships. “Someone outright lied to me, they didn’t tell me the truth.”

REPORT: Simek Says Sharks Lied to Him

Simek, entering the third season of a four-year, $9 million dollar contract, is now ready to turn the page.

“It’s past for me already,” Simek told San Jose Hockey Now on the first day of training camp. “It’s new management here. New coaching staff. I’m looking forward.”

Simek, to his credit, took responsibility for his off-season comments to in-language media.

“Of course, I was a little angry after last season because from February, I played just a couple games. And I played a game at forward, you know?” he shared. “Of course, I was unhappy.”

For their part, new San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier and head coach David Quinn are ready to turn the page too.

“I did speak with this agent [Marc Levine] and let him know whatever happened in the past, was in the past, but there’s a new coaching staff in here and new management. He’ll have an opportunity to show us what he can do,” Grier promised.

Quinn agreed: “There’s a very good opportunity for him here.”

There’s no doubt about that. After Erik Karlsson and Mario Ferraro, there are no clear top-four defensemen on the San Jose Sharks blueline right now. Could a resurgent Simek vault above Matt Benning, Markus Nutivaara, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, or Jaycob Megna on the depth chart?

For what it’s worth, Simek offers a physicality that his veteran cohorts can’t match. He led the Sharks in Hits Per 60 last year.

And Quinn knows it: “In the short time that I’ve watched him, I don’t know a lot about him, but I like his energy. I like his in-your-face approach, which I think we’re going to need.”

An appreciation for his skills may just be what Simek needs to revive his career: “It’s a fresh start for me.”

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Gary To

when he’s on, he was one of the best sharks D at stopping plays near the boards with his physicality, hope he finds that gear again.

BryanMirkley6

I remember reading an analysis of the sharks defensemen last year – probably written by Sheng – that said he was the best on the sharks at denying zone entries with possession.
I’m excited to see what he can do under Quinn if he stays healthy.

david barnard

as a bottom pair against easier comp. comparisons are relative.

Alaskan_ice

Simek was “gone” in my mind. If he can start anew and be that force on the backend, the best hitter in teal, let it happen.

BOOMBA

If “they” — Sharks management let it happen and he actually gets to play defense, not “right/left wing”, Simek will not disappoint.

BOOMBA

What a concept, a defenseman that can actually be physical and not be on the receiving end of penalties playing for the Sharks? Go Simek, I have always been a fan. His playing forward last season is just another example of Boughner/Doug Wilson “crap show”.

KE

I agree – I’m a Simek fan too and he would be the best as Karlsson’s partner like Dilly – just never gave him a chance.

david barnard

Simek has played 98 games (116:12 TOI) with Karlsson (xG% 54.3%). he’s played 129 games (894:43 TOI) with Burns (xG% 50.93). he’s been given the opportunities to play with our 2 best offensive D. the expected goals percentages have been much better than the actual percentages (at least with Karlsson)-40% with Karlsson and 50.62% with Burns. for the record, i’m not saying Simek would be a horrible partner for Karlsson, nor do i believe Vlasic would be an improvement over him (although Vlasic and Karl have much more playing time together). the numbers of these two “complimentary” players to both… Read more »

Last edited 15 hours ago by david barnard
Troy

Well at the very least he is better than Vlassic which put him in the lineup. Vlassic at best is the seventh D-man, if not lower than that. Unfortunately the team is stuck with him unless they buy him out after this season. There isn’t a team in the league that will take on that contract. Easily one of the top 2 or 3 worst extension of Wilson’s career.

BOOMBA

Karlsson’s extension was by far the worst one in Wilson’s career. EK65 has been MIA since signing with the Sharks. I’m not holding my breath all that will change this season, even with Burns gone.

Ty Comes

Karlsson is infinitely better at Vlasic at this point in time respective of where they are at currently at in both their careers, not even close lol. Vlasic’s contract is by FAR the most inhibiting

tahoesharksfan

It would be great to see Simek playing up to peak form again. Hopefully they give him that chance and hopefully he performs!

david barnard

i think Benning is a very solid middle pair d-man option (for the Sharks) who contributes well (over his history in the league) to winning. i don’t see Simek above him tbh and they play different sides of the ice anyway. that being said, SP’s point is well taken.

Last edited 1 day ago by david barnard

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