With the NHL’s trade deadline just four days away, NHL GM’s are working overtime this week to try to make some moves. Contenders are looking to load up and pretenders are looking to get future assets for players on expiring deals.
One player on the trade block is New Jersey Devils forward Wayne Simmonds. A pending free agent, Simmonds provides grit, depth goal scoring ability and leadership. It seems likely that Simmonds will be moved ahead of Monday’s deadline, but where and what’s the return?
Vancouver Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal of TSN 1040 reports that the Canucks are “in the mix” for Simmonds and are even willing to offer up a top prospects like Olli Juolevi, Nikolay Goldobin, Nikita Tryamkin or Brogan Rafferty.
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NHL insider Pierre LeBrun confirmed Dhaliwal’s report, but went deeper reporting that the Canucks have elected not to pursue him any longer.
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Still, Dhaliwal maintains that the Canucks are still in on the action.
One thing to keep in mind, Simmonds simply isn’t the player he was a few years back. During his heyday with the Philadelphia Flyers Simmonds racked up goals and points playing alongside Claude Giroux, even hitting 32 goals and 60 points in 2015-16. This season though he has just seven goals and 23 points. He’s on pace to have his worst offensive performance since his rookie campaign in 2008-09. In other words: buyer beware.