The Nashville Predators are adding instead of subtracting this season as the NHL trade deadline approaches. The Predators acquired forward Jon Sim from the Dallas Stars earlier this week for Andy “Bubba” Berenzweig and a conditional draft choice in the 2004 draft.
Sim, 25, brings energy, speed, and experience to the Nashville squad.
Sim has playoff experience with the Dallas Stars, and even scored a playoff goal during the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals run with Dallas. The 5-10, 190 pound forward will be given a chance to break into Nashville’s rotation, beginning Thursday when the Predators play at home against the Calgary Flames.
Sim is one of three active NHL players who are natives of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Colin White (New Jersey) and Derek Walser (Columbus) also claim Nova Scotia as home.
Sim will be a valuable asset to the Nashville Predators. He will fit in nicely with a team already built around speed and grit. Sim also provides invaluable depth to the Predators, having played all three forward positions during his career. The versatility will come in handy, since Jon will most likely be juggled around in the Nashville lineup, as well.
The 25-year old is a prince off the ice, with a reputation for tirelessly performing community work. On the ice, however, he is simply a nuisance to all opponents.
Sim has 47 points (16 goals, 31 assists) in 42 games this season with the Stars primary development minor league team, the Utah Grizzlies of the American Hockey League. He has racked up 85 penalty minutes and is a plus-11 on the season. He was also named the MVP of the AHL All-star game earlier this year.
Nashville gave up a fan favorite in Andy “Bubba” Berenzweig. Berenzweig sealed his fate at the season’s start when he was not able to crack Nashville’s blueline out of training camp. David Poile, general manager of the Nashville Predators, is likely leaning towards getting a closer look at other young defensemen in the organization, such as Tomas Kloucek and Robert Schnabel.
Bubba’s most notable Nashville moment came in a game last season against the Detroit Red Wings. The defensemen had two assists and the game-winning overtime goal against the eventual 2002 Stanley Cup Champs.
The former Milwaukee Admirals captain and newest member of the Utah Grizzlies played against his former teammates on Tuesday, the day after he was traded. The Admirals defeated Berenzweig and his new team, the Utah Grizzlies, 7-4.
Sim is expected to make his Nashville debut on Thursday. He has 15 points (9 goals, 6 assists) in 77 career NHL games.
Hall Ties Rookie Record
Predators rookie forward Adam Hall tied a Nashville record for most goals by a rookie in his first season. Hall, who scored his 13th goal of the season Monday in a win over the Boston Bruins, is now tied with David Legwand, who also scored 13 goals during his rookie season. Hall will likely own the record for himself by season’s end.
Lasak the Traveling Man
With Tomas Vokoun becoming one of the newest NHL iron men, backup goaltender Jan Lasak has not seen much action since Mike Dunham was dealt to the New York Rangers. Lasak, who plays a game with Milwaukee when the Predators have a few days off, is getting plenty of work in Nashville practices, as well as extensive work with goaltending coach, Mitch Korn. Vokoun was in a similar position a few years ago when Dunham was Nashville’s unanimous number one goalie.
Trading May Not Be Done Yet
With Nashville creeping back into the playoff race, the Predators may be involved in more trade talks. Brent Gilchrist is certainly available after the Sim acquisition. Some playoff teams, Detroit and Dallas in particular, may be interested in adding Gilchrist as depth. Greg Johnson, the Nashville captain, has been rumored to be available but those are simply rumors. The Predators likely would not trade their captain two years in a row. Cale Hulse also could be moved for a mid-round draft choice, at best. Andy Delmore could be available, as well. Teams will be interested in Delmore because of his offensive capabilities, but the goal-thirsty Predators may not trade him. That said, Poile seems very keen on this year’s draft, so if the team has a chance to pick up more picks, Poile may bite.