Pending free agent Wayne Simmonds has really been through the wringer the past couple seasons.
The long-time Philadelphia Flyers power forward has bounced around to the Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils and finally the Buffalo Sabres over the past calendar year. Now he's ready to hit the free agent market even if he doesn't know exactly what his future holds.
“Honest to God, I couldn’t tell you what lies ahead for me,’’ Simmonds told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic. “All I can say to you is that I’m actually, finally 100 percent healthy from my surgeries two years ago. I’ve been training like an animal."
“All I have in my mind is that I’m ready for this upcoming season whenever it does happen. I’m looking to make a huge impact wherever I go. Obviously I know I didn’t have the best of years last season. I’m looking to prove a lot of people wrong and show that I can still play at the level that people are accustomed to seeing me play at.’’
One thing that Simmonds does know though is what type of game he can bring on a nightly basis. He's a meat and potatoes kind of player who doesn't mind roughing things up in front of the net or in the corners.
“My whole career, I think I’ve been that guy who is willing to do all the dirty work. I pride myself on doing that type of dirty work,” said Simmonds. “I think now I’m in a position as being a free agent again where hopefully I can land myself on a contending team. That’s the goal here. I want to be a difference-maker, I want to be a piece to a puzzle that’s not yet complete but I can help push over the top.’’
Hmmmm... call me crazy but that's exactly the type of player the Toronto Maple Leafs could use. And you know what? I'm not crazy because Simmonds himself feels like he'd be a fit with the team and he even says so directly to LeBrun.
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“I moved up to Aurora (north of Toronto) probably three summers ago, my wife and I and our daughter,’’ Simmonds said. “I’ve been walking around the neighbourhood way more frequently than I usually do because I’ve been here a lot longer than normal and all I keep hearing is, `When are you going to sign with the Leafs?’
“So of course it’s crossed my mind. I know they’re in a bit of a salary cap situation and things of that nature, but you know I’m open to everything, Toronto’s got a great core of players and I think that’s definitely a team where I could go in and make an impact right away. It’s up to the teams. Whoever wants to choose me, I’ll be waiting. I’ll definitely be ready to go.’’
Your call, Kyle Dubas. Make it happen.
For the full article from LeBrun, click below: