Trade puts familiar name on K’s roster
The surname Sims hangs from the rafters at Memorial Coliseum. Skating beneath that is not entirely new to Jordan Sims, who played for the Komets’ opponent the night that banner was raised in 2017.
However, the excitement of it : and the potential pressure : is about to go to a whole new level.
The Komets acquired Sims in a trade Monday with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, bringing him back to the city in which he was born and to the team for which his father, Al, both played and became its winningest coach.
“I don’t know how many guys get to (do) something like this,” Jordan Sims said. “Just to go back to where you where you were born and to go back where your family has been a part of the organization in such a big way, it’s a unique opportunity that I look forward to taking advantage of. I’m sure a lot of people will want to talk to me, and I’ve met a lot of them before, and it’ll be a really cool experience.”
Jordan Sims, a 28-year-old forward, who faced the Komets with Evansville and Cincinnati, had two goals and 10 points in 14 games with Greenville. His acquisition completed the Nov. 5 trade of Thomas Ebbing for future considerations.
Al Sims is one of 18 people to have a number retired by the Komets. He had an extensive playing career in the NHL : he was Bobby Orr’s defense partner with the Boston Bruins : and finished skating with the Komets in 1989. He went on to coach Fort Wayne to championships in 1993, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. Al Sims coached in various other cities, including a season as head coach of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, but his greatest success was always here, hence the banner with his name and the No. 504 that signifies his franchise record for victories.
“I say, ‘I’m from Fort Wayne, Indiana,’” Jordan Sims said. “Obviously we bumped around so much ... and the family currently lives in New Jersey. My mom is from California and my dad is from Toronto. ... But when it comes to Fort Wayne, I lived there (twice) and my dad coached there. And being around that city and that rink, it’s a special place in my heart for sure.”
Jordan Sims played at the University of Connecticut from 2010 to 2014, his most prolific season being his junior year, when he had 10 goals and 31 points in 37 games. He was coached by his father with Evansville in 2015-16, when he had career-best numbers in goals (17), points (46) and plus/minus rating (plus-18), also getting a two-game call-up to San Jose of the American Hockey League.
Jordan Sims’ older brother, Tyler, was a backup goalie with the Komets in 2009-10 : Al was the coach : but Tyler didn’t get into a Fort Wayne game. Tyler was born in West Berlin, while his father played there, and Jordan was born during Al’s first season as a head coach in the International Hockey League.
The Komets play Wednesday at Cincinnati, where Jordan Sims played for the Cyclones in 2016-17 : he totaled 15 goals and 44 points in 59 games : and he played three games to begin this season before being sent to Greenville for future considerations.
“I didn’t expect to get traded (to Greenville) and it was a bit of a shock. It was positive, though,” Jordan Sims said. “I’d never been to Greenville and it was a bit of an adjustment. I got another call, though, and here we go again. But to find out it was to Fort Wayne and to have some familiarity with the city and the rink and the staff, and to have known (coach Gary Graham) and (general manager David Franke) and have some comfort, I wasn’t as taken aback.
“I let it sink in that it was Fort Wayne, and I’m really excited about the opportunity for sure.”
Graham was an assistant to Al Sims with the Komets in both the IHL and Central Hockey League.
The trade of Ebbing to Greenville was made when Shawn Szydlowski, last season’s ECHL MVP and leading scorer, returned to Fort Wayne from Norway. Ebbing, who was scoreless in six games with Fort Wayne, has three goals and four points in nine games with the Swamp Rabbits.
Jordan Sims’ home debut as a Komet will come 8 p.m. Friday against the Toledo Walleye.