Wayne Simmonds knows Philly all too well.
The two had become synonymous during Simmonds' eight years in Philadelphia.
On Oct. 9, the Flyers' 2019-20 home opener, Simmonds will play in the Wells Fargo Center for the first time as a visitor since being traded at last season's deadline.
He returns as a New Jersey Devil. And he wants Philly to be Philly.
Wayne Simmonds says he’d be mad if Flyers fans don’t boo him when he returns to Philly. The Devils visit the City of Brotherly Love on Oct. 9.— Joshua Clipperton (@JClipperton_CP) August 29, 2019
Shayne Gostisbehere smiled at the sheer thought of this city booing Simmonds.
I think Simmer knew that they're not going to boo him, he was so beloved here. We still love him, I'll be cheering him on, I definitely won't be booing him," Gostisbehere said last month in a sit-down interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derek Souders. "When he comes back, it's definitely going to strike some people hard. He was such a good guy, such a good guy for the community, too. His dealings with Snider Hockey, he did so much for the community. On the ice, he gave it all. He was a true Flyer — I think he could have played back in the day, for sure. I don't think you'll hear too many boos. Sorry to say that, Simmer.
Oct. 9 will be an emotional night for Simmonds and Flyers fans. As tough as Simmonds is, he was emotional following the Feb. 23 Stadium Series game at Lincoln Financial Field, what turned out to be his final time wearing a Flyers jersey.
And he clearly has Oct. 9 circled on his calendar.
Simmonds signed with the Devils in the offseason on a one-year deal and will play the Flyers four times in 2019-20. New-look New Jersey is looking to jump back into contention just like the Flyers. The matchups should be intense … but booing Simmonds?
For more from Gostisbehere on last season's trade rumors that lingered into the offseason, his expectations and the team's makeup, watch the "Break the Ice" video above.
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