The San Jose Sharks are reportedly close to a contract extension with soon-to-be unrestricted free agent defenseman Radim Simek.
The San Jose Sharks have suffered through what has been their worst season in years and with just one month left to play, many are just looking forward to the end of the season.
Various injuries and inconsistencies have ultimately held the team back as they sit towards the bottom of the Western Conference standings ahead of just the lowly Los Angeles Kings.
San Jose will have some decisions to make this offseason regarding a few notable internal free agents. And while this offseason won’t have as many major decisions as last summer, one key player who’s set to be an unrestricted free agent is defenseman Radim Simek.
Fortunately, if recent reports are to be believed, the Simek is very close to signing an extension with the Sharks.
A Czech publication reported on Sunday that Simek had officially re-signed with the Sharks. However, a report from Curtis Pashelka of Mercury News later refuted this claim stating that the two sides were close, but no deal had been made just yet.
Pashelka also reported that the deal would run through the 2023-2024 season keeping him in San Jose for another four seasons.
Simek was signed by the Sharks back in 2017 after playing for a few years in his home country of the Czech Republic. He made his NHL debut in December of 2018 playing inspiring hockey before suffering a gruesome knee injury in mid-March.
That knee injury would keep him out for the remainder of the season and force him to miss crucial time in the Sharks’ deep playoff run. Nonetheless, Simek rehabbed throughout the offseason, determined to come back stronger than ever the following season.
He would make his return in November only to miss more time after it was determined he needed another — albeit minor — operation on his knee. He returned to the lineup in December and has been a fixture on the blue line ever since.
Simek has officially surpassed his regular-season game total from last season and has now played a cumulative NHL season’s worth of games.
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During a difficult season for San Jose, Simek — among many other Sharks — has been inconsistent. After shining in a tandem with Brent Burns last year, the duo failed to reach the same level of chemistry this season.
That said, Simek has been a reliable, physical presence in the Sharks’ lineup. And given the lack of young depth at the position already, it makes sense that the team wants to bring him back.
The likes of Tim Heed, Dalton Prout, and Brandon Davidson are all set to be unrestricted free agents as well meaning that the depth of the Sharks’ blue-liners will need to be completely replaced. Not to mention Jacob Middleton and his restricted free-agent status.
Simek, along with Mario Ferraro, is a young defenseman to build around as San Jose looks to construct a new core for the future.
It’s been a tough few months for the Sharks, but re-signing Radim Simek would be a nice ray of hope in an otherwise dark season.