Report: Penguins breakout star turns back on team, bolts for KHL

Russian hockey insider Aivis Kalnins drops a bomb on Pens fans!

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After experiencing back to back Stanley Cups and re-establighing themselves as one of the NHL's premier franchises, the Pittsburgh Penguins took a step back in 2017-18. Now, with rumors that one of the team's young up and coming forwards may be on the way out, Penguins fans are left to wonder what's next for this team.

According to a report from KHL reporter and all around Russian hockey insider Aivis Kalnins, Penguins forward Dominik Simon has no interest in signing a two-way agreement with the club and is considering signing a deal in the KHL for the 2018-19 season.

‘’Simon is interested to sign a one-way deal with the Penguins’’ said agent Michal Sivek.

‘’In case of a two-way offer from the team he will be exploring other options and could move to the KHL where his rights belong to the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team.’’ Sivek added. 

Simon was surprisingly productive in his rookie campaign with the Penguins this past season, despite playing just 33 games. The 23 year old native of Prague, Czech Republic had four goals and 12 points with the Penguins and an additional four goals and 17 points in just 21 games with the team’s AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins. He also managed three points in eight post season games, as well.

Simon was originally drafted by the Penguins in the 5th round (137th overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and came over to North America three years ago from Plzen HC of the Czech League in an effort to earn a regular NHL job. While Simon had a taste of success this season with the Pens, he hasn’t really cemented his position within the organization moving forward, despite receiving a plum position on the team’s top line alongside Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. 

If the kid can’t earn a one way deal playing alongside Sid The Kid… we don’t know if he’ll ever be able to crack the roster full time. For what it’s worth, Simon has never played in the KHL despite having his rights owned by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl squad. Were he to join the team he’ll join former NHLers Maxime Talbot, Staffan Kronwall, Brandon Kozun and Andrei Loktionov.