You have to admire Wayne Simmonds.

That guy is as tough as they get. He's fearless, too, and showed it Saturday night when he dropped the gloves and stood toe to toe with 6-foot-7, 255-pound defenseman Jamie Oleksiak.

The Flyers, desperate for life and fire during a hellish week, had just allowed a goal 39 seconds into their game against the Penguins, to Sidney Crosby no less.

So the Flyers' emotional leader stepped up and grappled with Oleksiak, a big dude who makes the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Simmonds look small.

It was a big-time fight.

Simmonds took some serious shots early but more than held his own as he landed punches, as well, resulting in a bloody fight you can watch in the video above.

The Flyers' new general manager will have a difficult decision on Simmonds, who can become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason (see story). If the Flyers continue to slide and their 2018-19 season looks more and more lost, Simmonds will be a popular trade candidate ahead of the Feb. 25 deadline.

What contending team wouldn't want a heart-and-soul player with 30-goal pedigree on the wing for the stretch run? 

Of course, the Flyers could also decide to re-sign Simmonds. But they certainly don't want to let him walk during the summer and receive nothing in return.

At 30 years old, Simmonds still has a ton of worth. He owns 96 goals since the start of the 2015-16 season, good for 21st in the NHL over that span.


We saw another aspect of his value when he stood up for the Flyers Saturday night (see story).

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