The San Jose Sharks will likely be without Radim Simek for the rest of the season and playoffs, as today GM Doug Wilson announced that the defenseman will undergo surgery to repair both his ACL and MCL in his right knee. Simek was injured earlier this week when he collided with Andrew Copp of the Winnipeg Jets and had his right leg trapped underneath his opponent as they went to the ice. The team has recalled Jacob Middleton from the minor leagues.
Simek, 26, was signed out of the Czech Republic in 2017 and spent all of last season in the minor leagues. This year though the physical defenseman has morphed into a full-time option for the Sharks, even pairing with Brent Burns at times. In 41 games this year he has just nine points, but had become a reliable part of the blue line for a Sharks team heading to the postseason.
Losing him will put more pressure on a player like Joakim Ryan, who hasn’t suited up since January 22nd but will skate next to Burns tonight against the Florida Panthers. With Erik Karlsson already out, Ryan and the rest of the defense will need to work even harder if the Sharks are going to maintain their lead in the Pacific Division.