NY Islanders News

Witter is Gone, but Simmer Will Be Back

By John Panarese

The Isles officially cut their ties with defenseman Brendan Witt by buying out the remaining year on his contract, but they have signed John Sim for another season.

OK, I’ll be honest in saying that Witter basically represents my kind of mindset as a hockey fan in his “warrior” mentality. I was a big fan of Brendan, and as much as I perfectly understand that his lack of speed was making him more of a detriment than an asset to the team, I am still going to miss him. His physical play and his fearlessness in blocking shots are simply traits you don’t find in many players these days. It’s just a shame that he is too slow for this modern NHL and really was not fitting into the Scott Gordon system.

Overall, I think someone will pick him up. He is bound to add some depth to another club, despite his lack of speed. Also, well, when a guy can come up on top of a man verses SUV match, it has to say Something about his toughness …

I am a bit surprised by John Sim’s return. Again, this is a guy who I personally enjoy having on “my team”. He is an instigator and general irritant to other teams, and I found myself chuckling on many instances when he found himself in the midst of displeasure being directed by several opposing players towards him.

I have to say that I didn’t expect the Islanders to resign him. However, apparently, Garth Snow liked his work ethic and his attitude, as he will be back this season. Without a doubt, Simmer adds some depth to the bottom six forwards, and his knack of going to the net and stirring up the ire of opponents does make him have quite a bit of value on a developing team. I’d like to see more goals from him, so, hopefully, we will see a better offensive output from him this season.

Overall, we shall see what other pieces of the puzzle Mr. Snow manages to add over the next few weeks. I still think some work can be done, but we still have some time.