Islanders forward Jon SIm, who was suspended by the Islanders for his refusal to report to Bridgeport after clearing waivers Tuesday, plans on pursuing a career in Europe provided he clears unconditional waivers tomorrow, Newsday has learned.
If Sim clears unconditional waivers tomorrow afternoon, he will no longer be property of the New York Islanders and will play for a team in Switzerland for the remainder of their season.
"I'm a loyal guy and I expect a lot of myself and believe me, this was the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but I had to make this decision for my family," Jon Sim said when reached by phone Friday.
Sim's decision came after being placed on waivers for the fourth time this season on Monday. With his failure to report, the Islanders suspended the gritty 33-year-old veteran and placed him on unconditional waivers Friday. The Islanders do not intend to pay Sim for the remainder of the season and his contract "can be be terminated for a material breach," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Newsday via email Friday.
"I appreciate everything Garth [Snow] and Charles [Wang] have done for me in my time on Long Island in giving me an opportunity to play here," Sim said. "I have a lot to be thankful for."
After signing a one-year, two-way contract with the Islanders this offseason, Sim reported to Bridgeport on the three previous occasions he was assigned and has recorded 7 goals and 2 assists in 8 games for the Sound Tigers.
Sim said he was upset to leave his friends and teammates behind in Long Island but optimistic about a potential career revival in Europe.
"It's an opportunity for me to see what's out there, but it's been a hard couple of days, that's for sure."
***On a personal note, Sim has got to be one of the greatest guys in the game to be around, period. His sense of humor and constant positivity made him a favorite among teammates and media members alike. He will be missed, without a doubt. Best of luck to him in all of his future endeavors.