By Nick Hartman:
(Kansas City, MO): Minutes before the start of play, Friday, Mavericks GM, Brent Thiessen and Mavericks defenseman, David Simoes gathered at the entrance to the ice for a surprise retirement ceremony. When Steve Garret, the Mavericks Public Address announcer, announced that David Simoes would be retiring, the fans in the stadium let out a loud gasp. The fans were surprised by his decision and no one saw it coming.
“I decided to retire to look after my health,” said Mavericks defender, David Simoes. “I have had seven concussions and if I had one more, it could have had long-term effects. So that played the position to make me want to retire.”
The six year CHL/SPHL career of David Simoes was very successful in the eyes of the fans and of the Mavericks organization. Especially from head coach Scott Hillman who said,
“Simmers came to the team at a time last year when we were struggling, and the effort he gave every day rubbed off on everyone in that locker room. We needed a big piece to the puzzle, and Simmers was it. I’ve been involved in this league since 1999 and I don’t know of a player who has the universal respect of everyone like Simmers. When he fought, he fought you face to face. He had class and dignity. He’d knock you down, help you up and tap you on the head and go on and play the game. He was old-school tough, and you love to have a guy like that on your team.”
David Simoes was the instigator for all the teams that he played for, fighting 114 times in his extensive six year career. On the ice, David was a fighter but off the ice you would never know. David is the kindest and friendliest hockey player someone will ever meet. He always makes time for his fans and is always very friendly. David has a good reason for this saying,
“First and foremost, the fans here are just amazing. It’s incredible how much support we get here in Independence. It makes it fun each night coming here and hearing the fans each night. The support from them is incredible and by far this is the best play I have ever played.”
Simoes received two concussions this year, the first coming against the Wichita Thunder when he took an elbow to the head. That was a minor concussion but less then two weeks later, he was boarded into the glass, head first, by Bloomington’s Brett Lutes. While Simoes laid on the ice motionless pushing and shoving occurred behind and in front of him. This one play ended Simoes’s season and career.
“For a class act like Dave to not go out on his own terms just isn’t right,” Mavericks defense man Dave Pszenyczny said with a touch of sadness in his voice. “I knew he was thinking about retiring, but he was so excited about this year’s team and our chances of making a deep run in the playoffs.”
Concussions are not only prevalent in football but also in hockey. In fact, an article by “Brainline.org” states that hockey players have a 5-10% higher risk of receiving concussions then football players. A hockey player is at more risk because of the constant contact into boards between the players.
“I’m still trying to figure out what’s next for me. I’m going to get my head healed and then go from there,” said David Simoes. “I have some things on the burner and I hope those pan out …We’re just open to options right now and not really sure what we’re going to do.”
Simoes will not return to the ice ever again as a player but he could become a coach, general manager, or president. One thing is sure, he wants to remain involved with hockey and the Mavericks organization. He may not be certain of what’s next for him but he knows he will remain in hockey.