Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds could be on the move before next month’s trade deadline. (Photo: Getty Images)
With the Philadelphia Flyers falling farther out of playoff contention and into the top-10 of the NHL Draft board, it is only a matter of time until they start trading some of their quality veteran players.
One of those players, who could be gone by next month’s trade deadline, is forward Wayne Simmons. Earlier this week, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reported that both the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators are keeping an eye on the 30-year-old forward. However, Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reported on Saturday that the Jets are more likely to add a left-handed defenseman or a center to play on the second line.
Simmonds, who is in the final year of his deal, has 13 goals and six assists for a total of 19 points in 45 games for the Flyers. The veteran winger is projected to finish the season with 25 goals, which would be right in line with what he has done over his eight-year career in Philly.
Along those same lines, TSN’s Bob McKenzie also reported this week that Simmonds is “more likely than not to be traded” before the trade deadline. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher is reportedly looking to acquire a goaltender, top-four defenseman, and a top-nine center.
However, Simmonds does have a limited no-trade clause, meaning he can give the Flyers front office a list of 12 teams that he does not want to be traded to.
Therefore, the next question would be if the Preds and or Jets on his NTC list. Currently, both squads sit atop of the Western Conference’s Central Division with 58 points apiece and could make deep runs in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Simmonds would be the perfect addition for either squad as he is a very physical player with a team-friendly contract ($3.975-million) and can provide some offensive firepower.
Thus far, we’ve already seen the Flyers make one move as they traded forward Jordan Weal to the Arizona Coyotes on Friday for a 2019 sixth-round draft pick and ECHL defenseman Jacob Graves.