New Glagsow native Jon Sim has left the New York Islanders to play in Switzerland for Fribourg-Gotteron. He is pictured here during a Play the Pros event he helps organize in New Glasgow. FILE PHOTO
New Glasgow native Jon Sim got into hockey because he loves to play the game. That passion and drive led him to the NHL.
But this year playing for the New York Islanders wasn't fun, he says.
"There was a lot of things going on with the whole season with the Islanders and I just felt it was time to move on and just be happy," he said by phone from Switzerland Tuesday. "I was sick of getting sent down and getting called up. I had to make this decision."
That decision was to leave the Islanders organization and take a plane to Switzerland where he is now playing for Fribourg-Gotteron a team located in the city of Fribourg.
It is the French speaking part of Switzerland, south of Berne. Former Blackhawks goaltender Cristobal Huet also plays for Fribourg-Gotteron
There is only six games left in the team's season, but Sim is hoping he can contribute some and help the team climb to fifth or sixth place. Right now Fribourg-Gotteron is ranked eighth in Switzerland's National League A.
Sim has already recorded one point so far for the team, but hopes to do more in the future.
"It'll come," he says.
There are some differences between the style of play between North America and Switzerland which will take some getting used to.
"The ice is bigger and it's not as physical as the NHL games," Sim said.
While he's overseas, Sim's family has decided to stay in New York so his children can finish school and after that they'll be returning to Pictou County for the summer. Sim said he isn't sure where he will be playing in the fall of 2011.
"Obviously I'd love to go to the NHL, but I'll cross those bridges when they come," he said.
For now he is just going to focus on having fun again – "Which is the point of hockey," he says.
Sim had scored one goal and three assists with the Islanders in 34 games this season.
Campaign still a go
A campaign promoting a naming contest for the Pictou County Wellness Centre won't be affected by Jon Sim's move to Switzerland.
Nicole LeBlanc, fundraising and communication manager for the centre, said Sim is still an ambassador for the new centre even though he won't be playing for the New York Islanders anymore this year, a grand prize trip to see his former team is still being offered.
The Pictou County Wellness Centre Building Authority is offering a grand prize trip to New York to see a hockey game between the New York Islanders and the New Jersery Devils. The contest promos Sim and fellow Pictou County native Colin White, who plays for the New Jersey Devils and is also an ambassador for the centre.
LeBlanc said the grand prize is still hockey game between the two teams and it is drawing lots of interest. She said she has received more than 300 online submissions and others are coming into The Advocate. The contest deadline is Monday and the winner will be announced Feb. 18.