The last time Jon Sim played for Ken Hitchcock, Sim said he was foolish for not listening to his coach.
"He'd be correct," Hitchcock said last night after Sim scored two goals for his new club, the Philadelphia Flyers, in an 8-6 preseason win over the Atlanta Thrashers at the John Labatt Centre.
The former Sarnia Sting winger signed a one-year, one-way contract with the Flyers last month, making it his fifth NHL club since graduating from the OHL in 1998.
Sim, 28, was an unrestricted free agent after playing with the AHL Calder Cup champion Philadelphia Phantoms last season.
He was a Dallas Stars third-round draft pick and spent parts of four seasons with Hitchcock when he coached the Stars.
"It's old territory and I'm excited," Sim said of being reunited with Hitchcock.
"He knows what he's talking about and you just have to listen. That's the one thing I don't think I took when I was there before. I was young and as you think about what he says, you really do learn a lot from him."
Over parts of six NHL seasons with Dallas, the Nashville Predators, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins, Sim has 18 goals and 18 assists in 158 games.
He led the Phantoms with 35 goals and that's what got him the contract with the parent Flyers.
Hitchcock sees a big change in Sim's game.
"He's always been a talented guy. He's always been a guy that from the (centre) red line in has got strong dynamics. But Jon didn't put any value on being a complete player and I think he's learned that in order to stay in the National Hockey League you have to be a complete player.
Sim, at five-foot-10 and 190 pounds, will benefit from the new rules this season.
His first goal came when the Flyers used the elimination of the red line for two-line passes.
"The pace is pretty quick out there," Sim said.
"If you've got guys who can make plays you're going to be able to spring like that."