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NHL Free Agency

Dominik Simon is Back; Penguins Fans Quickly Divided

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Dominik Simon Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins first external signing of the 2021 NHL Free Agent Frenzy was a familiar face that makes Penguins fans uneasy. Talented winger Dominik Simon returned to the Penguins via a one-year, two-way deal.

A cabal of national reporters had the story first, including Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff and Sportsnet. Pittsburgh Hockey Now forecasted the likelihood in our morning free-agent preview. 

Simon, 26, was scoreless in 11 games for the Calgary Flames last season. The Penguins did not qualify him, and he signed with Calgary for one year at $700.000.

The Penguins brought back Simon on a two-way deal, which means he can be assigned to the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins and not count against the salary cap, either.

Simon played with the Penguins over four seasons, including three games as a fresh rookie from the Czech Republic in 2015-16. His most productive season was 2018-19. He set career highs in games played (71), points (28), and goals (8).

Simon was a lightning rod for criticism as his statistics did not look like a suitable winger for Sidney Crosby, but head coach Mike Sullivan often used Simon on the Pittsburgh Penguins’ top line.

After Simon signed on Wednesday, Twitter quickly fretted about a Simon-Crosby reunion or dug up past angst over Simon.

Analytical analysis showed Simon improved the Penguins’ top line by about 10%, but eventually, the Penguins wanted more offense, too.

Simon was the second Penguins signing on Wednesday. He and Evan Rodrigues belied the Penguins stated direction of looking for size and physicality. Simon is just 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds. 

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Stephen Powanda
Stephen Powanda
1 month ago

I know Hexy is a slow methodical mover but I didn’t know that Burkie retired. Truculence my ASS! We brought another midget back.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

A two-way deal for Simon is fine by me. Past rosters suggest that Sullivan is far more likely to embrace bigger and more physical players on D than at forward. I suspect they will go after Gudbranson. He was kind of a cap casualty with Marino’s emergence, so a reunion could make sense.

ThePenguin71
ThePenguin71
1 month ago

Oh, no. Not again. He is fine if he remains buried in WBS, but please don’t let him see any meaningful time with the big club.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

Have to admit the talk run up to free agency and player movement is one thing . .. but seeing it play out in real time is another. So far the team is older, slower, less physical than it was at the end of the Islander series. I have to admit though Hextall has quite a sense of humor with the return of Simon. I can only hope he does not have Jack Johnson”s cell number.

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
1 month ago

Divided between laughing and crying?

Simon Hargus
Simon Hargus
1 month ago

Simon is hard on pucks and improves the lines he’s on. He’s a great depth guy . I think if he’s on a 4th line you’ll find him scoring more when he’s against another 4th line. Also he’s responsible enough to let the top lines rest. too much of the last season they couldn’t even play the 4th line in the 3rd period. You fill it with guys like Simon , not much bad will happen and it prevents too much wear and tear on the above lines.

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon Hargus

If he couldnt score when Sid was setting him up with wide open nets how in the hell do you expect him to score more with far less talented players unless a puck happens to bounce of him and trickles in? Its almost as if you’ve never seen the guy play.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

Where’s JR when we need him. At least he tried to get better. This is ridiculous hextall

Jeremy
Jeremy
1 month ago

Good thing we dumped Jared McCann so we could give his salary to Simon and Rodrigues.

Chase Ranson
Chase Ranson
1 month ago

Total joke

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