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. Winnipeg currently sits atop of the Western Conference’s Central Division with 60 points, while Nashville is right behind them with 58 points. Both teams could make a deep run 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.
But what could they get in return for him from either squad? In terms of Nashville, they could try and get their backup goaltender in Juuse Saros, who is stuck behind former Vezina Trophy winner Pekka Rinne.
We all know how much of an issue goaltending has been for the Flyers this season. Philly would love to have a nice 1-2 combo of Carter Hart and Saros in net for the foreseeable future.
However, when it comes to the Jets, the Orange and Black could poach some of their offensive prospects such as Declan Chisholm, Santeri Virtanen, and Dylan Samberg.
Outside of those guys, the Flyers could also ask for Kristian Vesalainen, Michael Spacek, and Logan Stanley in a potential trade. In addition to prospects, Simmonds could also net Philly a second or third round draft pick.
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.