Wayne Simmonds has not received a contract extension from the Flyers and could be traded over the next eight days before the Feb. 25 deadline.
But if anyone knows Simmonds, that won't change him. Known to always stick up for his teammates, Simmonds did it again in the opening 53 seconds of Sunday night's game against the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena.
Simmonds and the Flyers were not pleased with Anthony Mantha, who crosschecked Claude Giroux near the back of the neck/head and into the boards during the final five minutes of Saturday's game, a 6-5 overtime victory for the Flyers.
To add fuel to the Flyers' frustrations with the hit, Mantha then scored the game-tying goal with seven seconds left in regulation as Detroit shockingly forced OT.
Good luck controversially hitting the Flyers' captain and not hearing from Simmonds.
The 30-year-old power forward, set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, challenged Mantha from the outset. The fight wasn't a doozy, but Simmonds landed some early body shots and definitely connected a few other times, as you can see in the video above.
"Wayne has played hard, he's been very good of late and I can't commend him enough on his professionalism, his attitude," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said last weekend. "You watch him in celebrations after we win a game, he’s pretty much the first guy out there to congratulate Carter [Hart]. … He's just a great teammate and has done a lot for this franchise."
The Simmonds situation is not an easy one for Fletcher, especially with the Flyers' surge in the playoff chase (see story). On Saturday, Fletcher said it was "hard to predict" how active he'll be before the deadline.
"Certainly the level of phone activity has picked up the last week," Fletcher said. "It's just hard to say — if we can find a way to improve our team, we'll certainly look at anything, whether it's now or in the summer."
We'll have to wait and see if that was Simmonds' last fight as a Flyer.
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