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Simmonds expected to wear the ‘A’ in Philly

Toronto Maple Leafs v Philadelphia Flyers

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 28: Wayne Simmonds #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on during warmups before the start of a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Wells Fargo Center on March. 28, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

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Ever since he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers heading into the 2011-12 season, Wayne Simmonds has fit in seamlessly, jumping a level or three among the league’s brightest power forwards. It only makes sense that he’s likely to be named one of the team’s alternate captains, then, as the Courier-Post’s Dave Isaac reports.

The 26-year-old has scored at right under a 30-goal pace in every season with Philly (his 15 goals from the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season would translate to about 27 tallies) while bringing the sort of physical game that endears himself to Philly fans.

(The Score’s Justin Bourne provides a fascinating view on how deft Simmonds is at the unappreciated role of being a net-front presence on the power play, too.)

With Scott Hartnell in Columbus and Kimmo Timonen’s health in serious doubt, one might believe that the Flyers are experiencing a leadership void, yet players like Simmonds could very well pick up the slack. Isaacs notes that it’s unclear who may be the other player to wear an “A,” but some believe a veteran like Mark Streit would fit the bill.

There are more than a few people who wonder if the Flyers can “out-score their problems” next season. If they manage that, Simmons will be one of the players (literally and figuratively) leading the way.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins