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Penguins' Dominik Simon in no hurry to bolt to Russia, agent says

Jonathan Bombulie
| Monday, June 4, 2018, 5:45 p.m.
The Penguins' Dominik Simon takes the puck from the Red Wings' Frans Nielsen in the second period Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Dominik Simon takes the puck from the Red Wings' Frans Nielsen in the second period Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena.

Dominik Simon's agent shot down online reports Monday that indicated his client might seek work in Russia's KHL if his contract negotiations with the Penguins do not go well.

According to a report at hockeybuzz.com, Simon's European agent, former Penguins forward Michal Sivek, said the 23-year-old winger would explore a move to the KHL if the Penguins do not offer a one-way contract, which is a deal that would pay the same salary whether the player is assigned to the NHL or AHL. Lotomotiv Yaroslavl owns Simon's KHL rights.

Simon's North American-based agent, Allan Walsh, sang a much different tune.

“Dominik Simon has only one focus and that's playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins next season,” Walsh wrote in an email. “With any good European player between contracts, KHL teams reach out and gauge interest in a player's desire to return to play in Europe.

“I'm confident a new deal will be worked out with Pittsburgh in due course. It's not productive to discuss other options or scenarios when the player has made his intentions clear on playing in the NHL next season.”

Simon is a restricted free agent who figures to feature somewhat prominently in the Penguins' plans next season. He ended this season on the team's top line alongside Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby during a second-round playoff loss to Washington. In the regular season, Simon had four goals and 12 points in 33 games.

Teams have until June 25 to make qualifying offers to their restricted free agents. The deadline for RFAs to file for salary arbitration is July 5.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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