Irresponsible RumormongeringProspects

Are the Rangers targeting Czech prospect Radim Simek?

radim simek

The Rangers have decided that they want to make their prospect pool to model the United Nation. After signing three NCAA prospects in the spring, the Rangers followed up by signing the highly coveted Alexei Bereglazov from Russia and are believed to be in contention to potentially sign Swedish defenseman Andreas Borgman. I believe that the Rangers may be adding a Czech defenseman in the coming days to the prospect pool as well.

Radim Simek is one of the top Czech defensemen not in the NHL, and at 24 years old he wants to take a chance in North America. It was originally speculated that the San Jose Sharks will be the team that will be able to sign Simek to a contract, which makes sense. Good team, good weather, they have a history of signing good Euros to deals (Rangers should sign Tim Heed away from them this summer), and they have a Czech on the team. Apparently, that all changed a few days ago as seen in this article. Here is the interesting quote thanks to Google translate:

A few months ago it seemed that head to San Jose, which for him was very interested. Even for Tomas Hertl, who wears jersey Sharks, found out the information, what awaits him. Finally, but apparently will play somewhere else. “In December, we dealt only San Jose, but then there was more than one club,” said Simek. Target could, for example, to the New York Rangers.

I find it really interesting that the Rangers are linked to Simek here because there is no mention of any other team in this article, or really any other article about Simek for that matter.

So who exactly is Radim Simek? Simek is a left handed, stocky defenseman playing in the Czech league for Bili Tygri Liberec, a team that I suggest we all keep tabs on because their coach is an absolute genius (and apparently being invited to Rangers camp). Simek is a good skater and may arguably be the best defenseman in that league. Over the last three years, he has been the top goal scoring defenseman twice and led the league in plus-minus another time. Simek was also named playoff MVP last year when his team won the championship with a ludicrous 10 points in 14 games.

Unfortunately for Simek, the Czech league is not exactly the best league in Europe. So although he truly does dominate there, I am not sure how it would translate to the NHL. In any case, when you watch him you see a smart, smooth skating defenseman with an active stick on both ends of the ice. Simek loves to play a strong physical game and beating him along the boards on the rush has been quite hard for his opposition in the Czech league.

Radim Simek was 2nd this season in SH/60. I guess you can also say that Simek is a clutch player, as 36.4% of the goals he has scored this year have been game-winners and 45% of his goals came on the powerplay. Is it possible that Simek will be given a very long opportunity to be a power play specialist for the Rangers? Definitely wouldn’t hurt to try. Simek isn’t a pushover 5v5 either, he ranks 6th among all defensemen in 5v5 primary points/60 as well, and two of those guys only played half as many games as Simek.

You may ask if Simek already has a deal in place, why hasn’t the signing become official? Apparently, we have to wait for the World Hockey Championship to end before he can sign a deal (like with Bereglazov), but good news with that is maybe we can watch how he plays against likely better players than the Czech leagues.

The Rangers potentially adding another big time puck mover is incredible, as it shows that they understand that the team has an issue and is trying to fix it with cheap and young talent.

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  • My first thought/question: Is he a defenseman?

    Also Josh, any rumblings about Will Butcher coming here after becoming a UFA on Aug 15? Looks like he’s definitely not signing with the Avs.

      • Hey, I would love Butcher on the NYR but with all of these signings, I find it hard to see how we can convince him he has a spot like we did with Vesey.

        I feel like Vegas will offer Butcher a spot as their 6D right off the bat.

    • Yeah…that makes perfect sense. After all, our clueless coach got a fanstatic debut season out of Skjei. And for some bizarre reason, these young free agents (Hayes, Vesey, the kids they just signed in recent weeks) want to play for a coach who apparently hates all the kids.

      Totally logical analysis.

      • You are looking for logic? Tell me what’s logical about benching #76 in a game in which he already has 2 goals. Too bad Boucher doesn’t have such logic. Would have benched Pageaut before the hattie and the GWG.

    • Good point Joe……but we can tell him to sit real close to AV so he does not get lost on the bench!

      Now we know why holden, stall, girardi, stepan and glass played more than better players……..they were smart and sat right next to AV!!

      I have this funny picture in my head of the players on the bench playing musical chairs and pushing each other out of the way to try and sit closest to AV!!!! So they get lots of ice time and dont get lost on the bench.

  • Just announced….Rangers just signed UMD defenseman Neal Blonk. Apparently very highly regarded.

    Another young player…a defenseman no less, trusting his early NHL development to the “youth-hating” AV. What is going on here????? 🙂

    • 3E,
      Money talks 3E…..we are like the yankees of the league…….we pay and we are in NY……gives us big edge in free agent signings…….
      I dont think most even know who the coach is , if that were the case they might be more interested in toronto or pitts etc….cup winning pedigree coaches….
      What we really need is a big time center prospect!!!
      That gives us three? top free agent defensemen signed… past few weeks…..what does that say about graves?

      yes, my new untouchable list does include sjkel…..[and I want to see Smith resigned as well….very impressive overall game]
      Is it my old eyes or has sjkel outplayed mcdonagh in his limited time?
      Similar to when strallman outplayed the capt his last year!
      There is a lot of mileage on our capt…would you entertain a trade offer? Of course after we trade /dump- stall , holden, girardi, stepan and even nash….maybe hayes…..I think miller will be 25 + goal scorer like kreider so he has long leash with me…..vesey, buch, sjkle, kreider, miller, smith new core?

      • Rich-

        Point by point.

        1) My understanding is that money is largely irrelevant in these situations. There is a cap for college prospects and its very little in the way of dollars. I think all teams are more than capable of offering roughly the same.

        2) Does NY have a cache? Sure it does. But you think other Original Six American cities like Boston or Chicago don’t? Or playing for a chance to win the Cup on better teams? Isn’t that the ultimate dream? So it has to be more than just the “NY thing”.

        3) OMG! You honestly believe these kids have NO idea who the coach is? I can’t believe an intelligent guy like you could even write that one! Don’t you think their agents clue them in on the best coaches to play for?

        4) Skjei is a Minnesota kid. Wouldn’t be shocked if he told Blonk how great it is to play in NY. We already know that Hayes (who apparently AV treats badly according to the flawed blogosphere) recruited Vesey. And from the article in the Players’ Tribune, it was Brian Boyle (leaving the team at that time BTW) who told Hayes what a good coach AV was and that he should come here.

        But I get it, the AV haters have to perpetuate the myth here that AV is bad with kids–even though every bit of evidence says exactly the opposite.

        As for the rest of what you wrote, I think just about any deal is plausible this off-season. There are no real untouchables.

        I worry about Miller. I very much question his work ethic, maturity and attitude. Do you remember after Game 3 vs Montreal, Miller makes that horrific clueless penalty in the face off circle. Results in a goal. After the game, he was asked about it and essentially stormed away from the reporter asking the question. Compare that to Stepan, who came right out and said the other day “I stink”. That’s accountability. Can you imagine Miller doing that? I can’t. I think it was Richter a few weeks back who said he thinks Miller will be a future captain. Based on all that we’ve seen and heard about him, I cant imagine the players ever accepting him as captain. It’s starts with personal accountability, which he seems to lack.

        If all he will be is another Kreider, sorry, that doesn’t excite me. We need a STAR, not a faux star.

      • Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. The alma mater of our very own Mark Pavelich.

        Blonk helped get his team to the NCAA Championship Game this year.

      • According to Elliotte Friedman….

        “That’s a coup for (the Rangers), was a lot of interest.”

        Besides, I thought you like young guys! 🙂

    • My only question to you Eddie is why has AV not made a permanent change with the 2nd pairing defensive unit. ( Not bashing here, just looking for educational answers) Nick Holden is not very good or has not bad very good in awhile with coverage reads which has caused a few goals against.

      Last game, I saw a few good plays from Nick Holden but a player like Holden needs a partner who is a very good skater who can bail Holden out when he makes a mis-read, etc…

      Also, Not just blaming AV, I am looking at the entire coaching staff why they did not play nor play Smith and Skjei more the last few minutes of game 2.

      My issue with Coach AV is his in-game adjustments, not his treatment of young players…just the in-game adjustments to counter act the opposing teams adjustments.

      • That’s a totally fair critique. I cant answer that. I just know from my years covering coaches and GMs, and knowing some personally, there is more that goes on than meets our eyes. We are fans and only get part of the story. There could be a myriad of reasons.

        I get it…fans want answers and they should. I just dont spend a lot of time micro-analyzing every decision made. I look at the big picture. We have team that is overachieving expectations from the outset of the season. We won a playoff round. Few expected much else. This is a good but not great team. They could easily be up 2-0 in this series if not for a few bad breaks, and if players step up their perfomances, they could win four straight. Wouldn’t surprise me.

        I do wonder about Beuke. I think Ulfie’s departure came as a shock. Notice the organization was very slow to go to Beuke once Ulf left. Got the sense they wanted someone with more NHL coaching experience, but couldn’t find one and had to settle in the end for someone who is an NHL coaching novice. I wonder if perhaps he’s the one getting exposed here a bit.

        • Thank you Eddie, always look forward to your response and comments on Hickey and this team.

          I very much agree with you in regard the Rangers have exceed expectations. I call it, they’re playing with house money right now. Tony (Richter1994 and I) have mentioned many times off-line how Gorton needs one more off-season to re-tool the defensive to make this team a true contender.

          I am questioning the Beuk hire as well and great point pertaining to how the Rangers did not just give him the position right away, interesting and great point.

          I follow college hockey a little bit and I really like the signings Gorton has been makings. I feel come early July, there will be a few big changes to this team for the better.

    • That’s because these young players were promised that the coach will be fired after this season, lol.

  • “Simek was also named playoff MVP last year when his team won the championship with a ludicrous 10 points in 14 games.”

    Ludicrous? Think I would use a word like respectable, but nothing more.

  • Does anybody think he’ll see the light of day in New York? Shorter than Clendo, similar output. Same goes for Pionk.

    I don’t have a problem using a 50 man roster spot on these guys(Gilmour, Bodie & Gilroy in the past) but the batting average is not very good. There is a threshold where size matters and the offensive output has to be next level if not hitting those metrics. None of these guys have made it past a depth D-man.

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