Admit it, you thought just because the NHL season was paused due to a global pandemic that not even the Pittsburgh Penguins would have to worry about injuries.
Not this year. The team announced today that winger Dominik Simon underwent a major shoulder surgery two weeks ago and will be out for about half a year.
Dominik Simon is recovering from successful shoulder surgery.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) May 14, 2020
Simon suffered the injury on February 29 in a game against the Sharks.
He is expected to be sidelined for 6-7 months.
Full details: https://t.co/Ft2Lo5heP6 pic.twitter.com/mwTYJp3Bde
That game against the Sharks was the last one Simon played of the season. Head coach Mike Sullivan soon announced Simon would be “week to week”, suggesting that perhaps Simon was going to attempt to gut out a playoff run before having the surgery. But clearly this is no normal season, so he might as well get it taken care of now to be ready sooner down the line.
Luckily for the Pens, they loaded up at the trade deadline with depth the week before Simon was hurt- adding forwards Evan Rodrigues, Conor Sheary and Patrick Marleau. Even without Simon for if/when the season resumes (and Gary Bettman has said recently pretty much that would a matter of when, not if), Pittsburgh is still in really good shape up front. Assuming they would have Jake Guentzel back from his major surgery, that would make for 14 quality options at 12 lineup spots for the Pens.
Simon is scheduled to be a restricted free agent this off-season. He scored seven goals and added 15 assists in 64 games this season, and with a major injury and rehab in front of him he would seem like a discount or another “prove it” type of contract could be on the horizon at a team-friendly rate.