Flyers

2019 NHL free agency: Did Devils overpay Wayne Simmonds with 1-year, $5 million contract?

2019 NHL free agency: Did Devils overpay Wayne Simmonds with 1-year, $5 million contract?

Wayne Simmonds got paid … sort of.

The beloved former Flyer signed with the Devils on Monday. He'll make $5 million in 2019-20, but the contract is for only one season.

So it's some prove-it time for Simmonds, who turns 31 years old in August.

"At the end of the day this is a business, right?" Simmonds said, via Amanda Stein of NewJerseyDevils.com. "I got traded last year at the deadline, so I feel a little bit removed from Philly. But you're right, I spent a lot of time there. I enjoyed my time there, but it's time to move on and time to get going. I thought Jersey was the perfect place for me."

Simmonds' base salary last season was $5 million, but his six-year, $23.8 million contract had an average annual value of $3.975 million. It became a bargain once Simmonds turned into a two-time 30-goal scorer. Since 2013-14, Simmonds owns the NHL's second-most power-play goals (74), behind only Alex Ovechkin (120).

Simmonds, though, has been a much different player over the past two seasons. A max-heart kind of guy, Simmonds has put his body through the wringer. In 2017-18, he endured a tear in his pelvic area, fractured ankle, pulled groin, busted mouth (twice) and a torn ligament in his thumb, but missed only seven games.

Last season, during the playoffs with the Predators, his year ended with taking a shot to the knee. Between time with the Flyers and Predators, Simmonds scored his fewest goals (17) and points (30) in a full season since 2010-11, when he was with the Kings.

Did the Devils overpay Simmonds?

Well, New Jersey had a ton of cap space and has made it clear it doesn't mind spending. The Devils traded for 30-year-old defenseman P.K. Subban, who has a $9 million cap hit for the next three seasons. 

New Jersey wants to be relevant again. Simmonds is a name, he can have an endless impact on a locker room and he can play up and down the lineup with his style as a power forward. The Devils have young talent and Simmonds can help.

Is $5 million a lot? Sure, but look at some of the contracts given out Monday. $5 million for one season of Simmonds isn't all that bad of a deal. Guys like Tyler Myers and Mats Zuccarello are getting $6 million a season for five years. New Jersey won't be kicking itself over paying Simmonds for one.

However, seeing him in Devils red will be odd.

Simmonds will return to Philadelphia on Oct. 9. He will play the Flyers four times in 2019-20.

And each time, it will be super weird watching him in that Devils jersey. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Flyers at Avalanche: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers at Avalanche: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

As one of the NHL's best teams since Nov. 1 (12-3-4, 28 points), the Flyers now face a new challenge.

Alain Vigneault's undermanned group begins a three-game road trip Wednesday as the Flyers (17-8-5) visit the Avalanche (19-8-3).

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: Pepsi Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Network
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• The Flyers are without Travis Konecny (concussion, out indefinitely), Oskar Lindblom (upper body, out tonight), Philippe Myers (back spasms, day to day), Michael Raffl (broken right pinkie finger, out approximately four weeks) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder, out indefinitely).

"Injuries are a part of a season. You have to expect it," Vigneault said Monday. "Then you need somebody else to step up."

More than ever this season, the Flyers will be looking to Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes and James van Riemsdyk to produce among the forwards.

The Flyers are 10-2-1 when Hayes records a point and 9-1-0 when van Riemsdyk records a point.

• Not only are the Flyers severely shorthanded Wednesday night, but they're also facing the NHL's highest-scoring club. The Avalanche lead the league with 3.70 goals per game. Their top line of Nathan MacKinnon (47 points in 30 games), Mikko Rantanen (18 points in 14 games) and Gabriel Landeskog (nine points in 14 games) is scary.

"We know going into Colorado, we're going to have to be careful versus their top unit," Vigneault said Tuesday. "[Monday] night, they seemed to load up. That's one of the best lines in hockey."

• Carter Hart will face the Avalanche for the first time in his career.

The 21-year-old goalie is 8-2-2 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .928 save percentage over his last 12 starts.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Morgan Frost-Tyler Pitlick
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
David Kase-Mikhail Vorobyev-Chris Stewart

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Shayne Gostisbehere-Robert Hagg

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

With Oskar Lindblom injury, Flyers call up prospect David Kase from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms

With Oskar Lindblom injury, Flyers call up prospect David Kase from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Updated: 2:08 p.m.

This is not how the Flyers wanted to open their three-game road trip.

Playing against the NHL's highest-scoring team Wednesday night, the Flyers will be without their two leading goal-scorers Travis Konecny (concussion) and Oskar Lindblom (upper body).

The Flyers knew on Monday they would not have the services of Konecny. Lindblom was added to the list of injuries Wednesday afternoon.

Konecny and Lindblom have a team-high 11 goals apiece. The 22-year-old Konecny leads the Flyers with 28 points, while the 23-year-old Lindblom is projected to finish with 30 goals after a promising rookie season in which he scored 17. The Flyers are also without forwards Michael Raffl (broken right pinkie finger, out approximately four weeks) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder, out indefinitely).

Earlier in the morning, the Flyers called up David Kase from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. He will now make his NHL debut tonight against the Avalanche (9:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN).

Kase, 22, is a smaller (5-10/168) but quick, hard-working winger who has six points (three goals, three assists) in 21 games with the Phantoms. The 2015 fifth-round pick is constantly active with his bursts of speed and quality skill.

Originally, it was unlikely he would play without any practice. However, the Flyers need him, hence why he was summoned to Denver this morning. After they play Colorado, the Flyers visit the Wild on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and the Jets on Sunday (5 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

The Flyers had the roster space and cap space for another forward. Lindblom missed Monday's skills practice for maintenance but practiced Tuesday. Joel Farabee also sat out Monday after getting his wisdom teeth taken out but practiced Tuesday and said he's good to go.

When Lindblom returns, Kase, Chris Stewart or Mikhail Vorobyev will serve as the Flyers' lone extra forward.

Kase becomes the ninth rookie to play for the Flyers this season. Alain Vigneault's team is 12-3-4 with 28 points since Nov. 1, tied for most in the NHL.

Here are the projected forward lines for tonight, according to Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Charlie O'Connor of The Athletic:

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Morgan Frost-Tyler Pitlick
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
David Kase-Mikhail Vorobyev-Chris Stewart

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers