It may come as a bit of a surprise to some, but as reported on Chris Botta's blog at Islanderspointblank.com, Jon Sim is officially on waivers and available to any of the other 29 teams in the NHL.
So far this season Sim has 5 goals and 2 assists for a shallow 7 points. He was signed last year to play the agitator role and fill the void that was left after Arron Asham's departure to free agency. He was also expected to somewhat contribute offensively since he scored 17 goals the previous season with the Atlanta Thrashers. With all this in mind, we were told that we would soon forget about Asham's physical brand of hockey with what Jon Sim had to bring to the table.
It took over a year to see what Jon Sim was all about since last season was cut short for him. Just two games in to the year, Sim sustained a knee injury that required season-ending surgery. This year he had a fresh start, but it appears that the coaching staff and management have not been impressed.
He doesn't play as physical as many fans would like, nor has he done very well offensively as seen with his 7 points in 28 games. Although I disagreed with it every time, Gordon did give Sim opportunities to hit the score sheet as he has been out there on the second power play unit on several occasions. Maybe too much has been expected out of him. Either way, the Isles are making a roster decision to let him go for nothing.
So does this mean that Sim could be the first brick to fall?
It appears that the writing is on the wall for some players who haven't met expectations. Sim is the first one that the Isles are trying to clear away (although he will probably return to the Isles line-up on re-entry waivers if not claimed), but who will be next?
Many will say Tambellini, but I believe the Isles are going to give him a 2nd, 3rd, maybe 4th...(I've lost count) chance to make something happen at the NHL level after his AHL conditioning stint comes to a close. However, if he doesn't make a drastic change in his performance he may be the next to go.
Comrie may have to work some magic on the ice as well. He blames his hip for the reasons why he hasn't been the player he expects out of himself. It makes sense, but I'm not sure if fans are willing to buy into it. Josh Bailey is knocking on Comrie's door, and so is Nielsen (once he is healthy), and both of these centers have shown more than Comrie has so far this season. Throw in that Comrie is only here on a one-year deal which may make him an attractive asset come the trade deadline.
Let's also take a look at Blake Comeau. The kid came up out of Bridgeport like a bat out of hell and managed to score a goal last night against the Flyers. He's been skating, hitting, shooting; doing everything the coaches want to see out of him. Sim has not, and Snow seems determined on keeping to his word about letting the kids play if they deserve the ice time. The same can be said for Tambellini even though he's a key member of the youth movement. They're not going to let Comeau dwell in Bridgeport when he's proven he can play up here when Tambellini only manages 2 assists in 23 games.
There is still a lot of time between now and the trade deadline, but the actions taken by some of these mentioned players will probably determine what jersey they will be wearing by the end of the season.