Dominik Simon has left the IIHF World Championship and gone home amidst speculation that he and teammate Filip Hronek of the Detroit Red Wings were involved in some sort of altercation at the team’s hotel in Tampere, Finland.
Czech news media were reporting this fast-spreading rumor. The reporting began shortly after Anaheim Ducks forward Domink Simon was seen on a flight leaving Finland. However, no one in the inner circle of the Czechia squad was willing to break the code of silence and provide a valid explanation for Simon’s sudden departure. While no one as willing to confirm the speculation, it was also curious to note that no one was denying the story, either.
#FlyTogether Dominik Simon leaves the team.
— Hockey News Hub (@HockeyNewsHub) May 17, 2022
“He disconnected for personal reasons,” Czechia general manager and former NHL player Petr Nedved told isport.blesk.cz. “It’s a loss for us, but it doesn’t affect the running of the team. It just happened,
“As this is a very sensitive personal matter and we respect Dominik’s privacy, please understand that we will not comment further on the whole matter,”
Likewise, Michal Sivek, Simon’s agent, sought to deflect the talk when contacted by Czech media outlets.
“Dominik left the World Cup for personal reasons and don’t be angry, I wouldn’t want to comment further, either,” Sivek said. “I would ask everyone to respect Dominik’s privacy.”
Czechia coach Kari Jalonen came the closest to opening the window a crack and revealing what might have been sparking Simon’s decision to depart.
“It was not the best situation for the team,” Jalonen said. “We are here to play hockey. We should stick to that.”
Red Wings Hronek Enduring Rough Campaign
In 2019, Hronek led all defenseman in scoring at the IIHF World Championship. He finished with 3-8-11 totals in 10 games. For that performance, he was named the tourney’s best defenseman. Hronek also was voted to the all-tournament team.
Last season, Hronek was the leading scorer on the Red Wings, posting 26 points. Even though he was good for 5-33-38 numbers in the just-concluded NHL regular-season, Hronek wasn’t the same player who looked to be emerging as an elite offensive defender in 2021.
Czechia Struggling At Worlds
After opening with a solid 5-1 win over Great Britain, the fortunes of the Czechia squad are heading south at the worlds. They were defeated 5-3 by Sweden and Red Wings goalie Magnus Hellberg in their second match. Austria ended up edging Czechia 2-1 in a shootout on Tuesday. That was the first victory by the Austrians over the Czechs in international hockey since 1930.
Neither Red Wings player in the Czechia lineup are finding much success. Both Hronek and forward Jakub Vrana are still looking for their first point of the tournament.
“It’s not ideal,” Vrana said. “We know about it, we talk about it.
“Today is a new day. We have to look ahead, we have work to do here and difficult matches to win.”