Flyers

Debating the Flyers-Predators Wayne Simmonds trade

Debating the Flyers-Predators Wayne Simmonds trade

Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Boruk and Jordan Hall.

The topic: Debating the Wayne Simmonds trade.

Boruk

General manager Chuck Fletcher's trade with the Predators was one that he had in his back pocket heading into deadline day. Obviously, he wasn't in love with the return or he wouldn't have waited until 2:58 p.m. to go through with it, but that's why you exercise every option and leave every window open until you know there are no more possibilities to explore. 

If Ron Hextall was pulling the strings on this deal, it may have worked out a little bit differently. Hextall would have embraced receiving a prospect or two in return. Fletcher, as it turned out, wanted to fortify his bottom six with a player that he could insert right away. In some ways, I can understand this logic. The Flyers aren't a very deep team at the forward position and this deal is more of a testament to how the GM views this team organizationally.

I think there's some skepticism when you look at the Lehigh Valley forwards like Mike Vecchione, Tyrell Goulbourne and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Right now, they can't be considered NHL-ready contributors and that's why Fletcher added a player like Ryan Hartman. 

Personally, I would have liked to have seen the Flyers acquire Dante Fabbro, as the Flyers are short on right-handed defensemen, and a higher draft pick. Fabbro is a defenseman who seems ready for the NHL, but who knows if Fletcher inquired or if David Poile made him available. However, I do like Fletcher's mindset of gearing up for next season, and that's the underlying message moving forward.

The bottom line as it relates to Simmonds and this trade is that he wasn't as highly coveted as Mark Stone and Kevin Hayes, and in the end, he didn't command the trade deadline return that the Flyers' organization had been hoping for. 

Hall

As great as Simmonds is intangibly — heart, leadership, experience — it didn't look like opposing general managers were as impressed with the production side of the equation, making them leery to give up too much in a trade.

Simmonds has a slew of characteristics contending teams covet over the stretch run into the playoffs. He can play up and down the lineup, he provides a power forward mindset and his power-play résumé is elite.

But this year, he's projected to finish with his lowest goal total (21) in a full season since 2010-11, when he played just 13:27 minutes per game with the Kings.

Furthermore, at 30 years old, he's coming off a laundry list of injuries from 2017-18: A tear in his pelvic area (which required offseason surgery), fractured ankle, pulled groin, torn ligament in his thumb and a busted mouth (twice).

Fletcher likely shot high in his asking price (there's a reason why the trade was so close to the 3 p.m. deadline), but ultimately had to come down to get something.

A 2020 fourth-round pick (which could turn into a third) and a 24-year-old with a first-round background that is cost effective made up a realistic return.

And it's not all that bad.

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2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule: Capitals, Stars look to eliminate Hurricanes, Predators

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2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule: Capitals, Stars look to eliminate Hurricanes, Predators

The Capitals and Stars can deliver knockout punches Monday night in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With a 3-2 series lead, Washington visits the Hurricanes, while Dallas has a shot to clinch its series on home ice over the Predators.

Below is the full schedule for Day 13 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. You can watch the entire playoffs on the networks of NBC. 

Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes (WSH 3-2)
Game 6, Eastern Conference first round
7 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN | Live stream here

Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars (DAL 3-2)
Game 6, Western Conference first round
8:30 p.m. ET | TV: CNBC | Live stream here

What's next for Scott Gordon? Watching Stanley Cup Playoffs

What's next for Scott Gordon? Watching Stanley Cup Playoffs

Chuck Fletcher wanted to give Scott Gordon some time to think about his future.

The general manager said Gordon was understandably disappointed Monday morning when he was told he didn't earn the Flyers' full-time head coaching position.

What might Gordon be doing in the meantime?

Good chance he's checking in on the NHL playoffs.

Two weeks ago, Gordon was in limbo with the Flyers — a part of meetings moving forward and considered a strong candidate for the head coaching job, but with nothing guaranteed.

He was asked if such a dynamic was awkward at all.

"At the end of every year, it doesn't matter where you are or what your contract is, there's always a chance you're not going to be back," Gordon said. "I go into the summer or the end of the season, I obviously reflect on the past season, what I'd like to do different [or keep] the same."

In doing so, Gordon likes to study the postseason. A big advocate of dissecting game film, Gordon does the same with the Stanley Cup Final.

"I generally try to watch the playoffs as a fan and then in the finals, I'll watch it as a fan but then I will get those on a computer and break down, in August, some of the things … when the playoffs go through, just identify some things that I like that teams did," Gordon said. "Pay particular attention to the finals in August, as far as what I might consider doing differently, pull footage and present to my team maybe a different way of going about business."

Which team Gordon is working for in 2019-20 is unknown. He impressed Fletcher as the Flyers' interim head coach. The club was in the basement of the 31-team NHL standings more than halfway through the regular season. By March 11, the Flyers were within three points of a playoff spot following an 18-4-2 spree under Gordon.

Fletcher said he would likely touch base with Gordon again after Easter weekend. He will welcome him back to the organization with open arms. Fletcher said Gordon's previous job as head coach of AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley was his if the 56-year-old wanted it.

However, Gordon said after the Flyers' regular-season finale that his time with the 2018-19 club changed his perspective on coaching in the NHL again, a much-needed spark following a not-so-memorable two-plus seasons as head coach of the Islanders from 2008-10.

"My experience in Long Island wasn't a great one," Gordon said April 6. "So much so that I didn't really think too much about coaching in the NHL. If it happened, great, but I wasn't losing any sleep over it. As I told the players after the game tonight, coming in here and dealing with the character of the players — not just as players but as people — reinvigorated that desire to coach in the NHL. With that being said, I'll do what job is asked of me and I won't think twice about it."

Gordon won't have any issues finding a job. He'll be watching the Stanley Cup Final, ready to coach.

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