January 14, 2011

Isles Prepare to Release Sim; Other Notes

The Islanders announced today that they have put Jon Sim on unconditional waivers, effectively ending the wingers tumultuous four-year career with the team.

Sim explained to Katie Strang of Newsday that he is trying to get a spot with a team over in Europe. On Monday, Sim was waived for the fourth time this season. He had one goal and four points with the Isles this season, while putting up 7-2-9 in just eight games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Jon Sim leaves the Islanders after four years. Photo by C. Hessel
There are some fans who are unhappy with the way this has played out, with many expressing distaste for the fact that he didn't fulfill the contract he signed.

In all honesty, I have never been a big supporter of Sim, not even when the Islanders originally signed him back in 2007. But I do not have any issues with what happened here. Sim had the right to reject an assignment to the AHL and the Islanders in turn had the right to go through with the process of terminating that contract if it came to this. This is all in the rules and legal.

Sim really liked this organization, and for the better part of four years did what the Islanders told him to do. He never complained and just did his job - played hockey.

Sure, Sim knew that signing the two-way contract that he did for this season meant that he could go up and down as much as the Isles pleased. But he seemed fine with that. It isn't common for players to refuse assignments to the AHL, but it does happen a couple of times a year.

Besides, for all we know this arrangement is something Sim and Garth Snow could have talked about a while back.

In the meantime, Sim will get to go do what really is best for the 33-year-old's family and career at this point in time. As far as sports are concerned, there isn't as much money in the NHL as there is in other sports - not even close. If I were a professional hockey player and was presented with the opportunity to make more money, I would take that deal.

I think part of the reasons the fans are so upset with Sim is because in general, it has been the thing to do ever since he got that three-year, $3 million contract after the exodus of Ryan Smyth and company. Jon Sim isn't a very skilled hockey player, and unfortunately due to various other factors more often than not found himself playing on lines he really had no business being on. So in that sense, some of the vitriol is misguided. For many, Sim will always be a symbol of what some feel is wrong with the franchise.

Having said that, I agree with the sentiments that Strang expressed that Sim was a great guy who had an awesome sense of humor. He was always upbeat and would give you some time to talk if you needed it. It's definitely a little bit of a loss of character for the organization to suffer.

This now changes the roster equation a bit now when it comes to who the future call-ups will be when other forwards get hurt. We have already seen guys like Rhett Rakhshani and Jeremy Colliton come up. Perhaps now we will see David Ullstrom at some point.

Best of luck in Europe, Jon.

Wishart Soon? The Islanders also announced that defenseman Dylan Reese was put on waivers and will presumably clear and head down to Bridgeport.

While it probably really isn't newsworthy as the Isles have been carrying seven defensemen around and need to get Frans Nielsen back on the roster soon (but not for tomorrow), I'm wondering if it's a precursor move to seeing newcomer Ty Wishart come up soon. It would make sense seeing as Wishart has laced up in four games for the Sound Tigers as of right now, so he could be down there just to get acclimated to the system for a handful of games.

DiPietro Appears Ready: Rick DiPietro manned one of the nets by himself Friday at practice, leading many to believe that he will be well enough to get the start tomorrow night against the Buffalo Sabres. In fact, both he and Jack Capuano seemed very optimistic and the goalie said that he felt great after the practice. Who his back-up would be is another story, but the right move here would be to send Kevin Poulin down to get more starts and continue on a steady development plan.




Anonymous said...

It's fine to send down Kevin Poulin for development, but if they do that, they need a real backup, not Nathan Lawson.

Chris Hessel said...

This is true. Lawson has not looked good, and obviously the odds of needing to ride the back-up more than a game here and there is greater with DiPietro around. If there was a need to have someone around a little longer and pick-up starts, then Poulin should stay. But assuming DP is "healthy" then there's no need to have Poulin sitting. Unfortunately, based on actions and comments from Snow, it appears Lawson is going to be the guy.

Chris Finbags said...

Lawson has looked terrible and clueless. DiPietro may need to have his contract bought out if he gets injured again. The organization cannot go through 8 more years of this nonsense.