Tuesday night Jon Sim received some positive news concerning his hockey career as the Florida Panthers offered him a 25-game trial contract with their AHL affiliate the San Antonio Rampage.
Last season Sim played with Pardubice HC, Slavia Praha HC and the Berlin Polar Bears in Europe, scoring five goals and 14 points in 43 games.
“I was just talking with my agent and the Panthers had contacted him to see if I was willing to come to San Antonio and I accepted,” said Sim. “It’s an opportunity for me to get back playing and I’m looking forward to it.
Sim will play his first game with the team on Saturday against the Oklahoma City Barons. He has been training constantly throughout the season at the John Brother MacDonald Stadium and practising with the Weeks Junior A Crushers, but hasn’t played any games.
He said he won’t know whether he is ready for being in a game situation until Saturday and that is why he was offered a trial contract.
“That’s the question people ask themselves, whether it’s August, September or now in December,” said Sim. “I can’t just say yes or no to that question of whether I’ll be ready, but I’ll know more on Saturday when I’m out there playing the game. I think mentally once it comes I’ll be ready to play and physically I’ve trained a lot and trained hard to give myself the best opportunity in case this moment comes.”
He will fly to San Antonio Thursday morning, leaving less than 48 hours after finalizing his contract. Although it’s a quick turnaround Sim said he expected it.
“The turnover is quick and the hockey world moves fast,” he said. “I found out at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and leave Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. so the turnover is quick, but that’s the way it works.”
Being a more experienced player on the Rampage roster he said he believes the coaching staff will expect him to do all the small things right and possibly score some goals. Aside from that he’s unsure as to what role they expect him to play.
“I’m just looking forward to an opportunity to get out playing again and I’m in North America,” said Sim. “Once Saturday comes and I get in there I’ll have more excitement and it’s tough with the family, but it’s the nature of the beast with hockey.”
Having to make the move so quickly Sim wanted to make sure he thanked the Town of New Glasgow and staff at the John Brother MacDonald Stadium for allowing him on the ice when he needed to. He also wanted to thank the Weeks Hockey Organization for allowing him to practise with the team over the past few months.