The Pittsburgh Penguins made a surprise announcement on Thursday afternoon as winger Dominik Simon will not be a part of an NHL return. Simon had successful shoulder surgery on April 29 and will be out six to seven months, according to Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford.
Simon has been an unheralded member of the Penguins lineup for the past two seasons, often shuffling up and down the Penguins lines and even sides of the ice, from the left wing to right wing, pending the Penguins needs.
He has 22 points in 64 games this season, including seven goals.
He draws external criticism for his low scoring totals, despite significant time on the Penguins top line with Sidney Crosby.
Simon, 25, suffered the injury on February 29 in a game against the San Jose Sharks. He underwent successful surgery on April 29 to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He had been dropped in the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup after the Penguins acquired Patrick Marleau at the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline, and Simon’s ice time had fallen to under eight minutes in his final three games, which concluded on Feb. 29.
Simon was termed week-to-week by Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan on March 2.
The NHL has discussed a 24-team playoff to begin in July. The Penguins are currently in third place in the Metro Division, and pending any game rollbacks would open a playoff tournament against the second-place Philadelphia Flyers.
Simon’s recovery time means he might be ready in November, should the 2020-21 NHL season resume then. Otherwise, his recovery projections extend to December. He is yet another regular Penguins contributor to suffer an injury this season. The list of Penguins who missed significant time includes Sidney Crosby, Brian Dumoulin, Nick Bjugstad, and Jake Guentzel.
Guentzel also suffered a shoulder injury and had surgery in January. He is expected to be ready if the NHL return happens in July.
Pittsburgh Penguins team physician, Dr. Dharmesh Vyas, performed the surgery at UPMC Montefiore in Pittsburgh.