NHL trade deadline

Flyers trade Wayne Simmonds to Predators before deadline

Flyers trade Wayne Simmonds to Predators before deadline

Updated: 5:28 p.m.

VOORHEES, N.J. — Next stop for the "Wayne Train" is Nashville, Tennessee.

Just before Monday's 3 p.m. deadline, the Flyers traded one of the organization’s most beloved players to Music City in exchange for right winger Ryan Hartman and a fourth-round pick in 2020, which could be a third-round selection if the Predators win a playoff round.

The move marks the end of an era.

"I was extremely on edge, obviously, not knowing where the day would go or how it would unfold,” Simmonds told TSN. “I went to the rink this morning for practice and then I was told I wouldn’t be practicing. I got a chance to say bye to the boys for a last time. It happened at the last minute of the deadline and I’m kind of overwhelmed right now."

Acquired from the Los Angeles Kings on June 23, 2011, along with Brayden Schenn and a second-round pick for Mike Richards and Rob Bordson, Simmonds turned out to be the best part of that package.

Even if the Flyers had just received Simmonds (which would have seemed ludicrous back then) and nothing else, the Flyers still would have overwhelmingly got the better part of that trade with L.A. 

And it didn’t take long for Flyers nation to become completely enamored with the skinny 6-foot-2 kid from Scarborough, Ontario.

He had a 28-goal season in his first full year in Philadelphia to go along with 114 penalty minutes. He brought goals and grit every season as if he was time capsuled from the 1970s to play for this city in front of these fans.  

What Chase Utley personified to the Phillies, what Brian Dawkins meant to the Eagles is exactly how you would characterize Simmonds within the Flyers' organization over the past eight years.

“He's been an ultimate warrior, he's been the best teammate all these years,” Claude Giroux said Saturday after their last game together. “We've all been here for a while now, we understand the business of it, but it doesn't mean we have to like it. There are not enough good words I can say about Wayne Simmonds."

Speaking with raw emotion following Saturday’s 4-3 overtime win, Jakub Voracek referred to him as his “best friend.” The rest of the league wasn’t as fortunate. Just ask Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who was rocked by Simmonds into the glass at Lincoln Financial Field and never returned — diagnosed with a concussion.

That check and the ensuing melee that resulted in the loss of defenseman Kris Letang changed the entire complexion of the game. The Penguins may have thought it was a borderline dirty hit, but it was vintage Simmonds and the league obviously agreed. 

Somehow, Simmonds engaged in 41 fights during his time with the Flyers and spent 784 minutes in the penalty box, and yet not once was he forced to miss a single game as the result of a suspension.

“It’s part of the game. I’m not a dirty player. I’ve never been suspended in my life. I don’t pick people’s heads. I don’t do any of that stuff," Simmonds said proudly said after Saturday’s game. "I play the game honest and hard, and I can sleep at night."

There are a handful of goalies around the league who have endured some sleepless nights staring at the back of No. 17.

Even though he was affectionately known as the "Wayne Train" throughout his Flyers career, Simmonds was more of a snow plow on a cold February morning in front of the opposition’s net. He would remove and clear out whatever stood in his way in order to score a goal, especially on the power play.

Since 2011, only Washington’s Alex Ovechkin has ripped off more power-play goals than Simmonds. 

But if you ask him, here’s how Simmonds probably wants to be remembered.

Just last season, he suffered a tear in his pelvic area before training camp, which eventually led to him pulling his groin. He fractured his ankle in the line of fire of a slap shot, and then tore ligaments in the right thumb of his shooting hand. On top of all of that, he lost six teeth after taking a stick to the face while enduring some of the most excruciating mouth pain one person could possibly imagine.

Wayne Simmonds gave the city of Philadelphia everything he had playing the game of hockey.

And whatever he’s got left, whatever muscles and tendons are still attached, is what he’ll give to the fans of Nashville. 

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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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NHL trade deadline: Complete list of every move

NHL trade deadline: Complete list of every move

NHL trade deadline day arrived Monday.

Right before the 3 p.m. cutoff point, the Flyers sent Wayne Simmonds to the Predators (see story).

There was plenty of activity across the league, so let's look at all of the moves:

Hey, another Jets trade

6:02 p.m. — Winnipeg added depth by acquiring center Alex Broadhurst from the Blue Jackets for future considerations.

Broadhurst owns 330 games of AHL experience.

The Jets made six trades on the day.

Jets make another move

5:27 p.m. — Winnipeg traded for defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, sending away another draft pick, this one a 2019 sixth-round selection to the Sabres.

Beaulieu, the 17th overall pick of the 2011 draft, has seven points in 30 games this season.

Jets get Lindholm from Leafs

5:10 p.m. — Par Lindholm went from one playoff contender to another as the Jets acquired the forward from the Maple Leafs for center Nic Petan.

Lindholm has played 61 games in his first NHL season, while Petan played 108 games over four seasons in Winnipeg.

Del Zotto back with Schenn

5 p.m. — Former Flyer Michael Del Zotto will join his third team of the season and reunite with Brayden Schenn as the Blues acquired the defenseman from the Ducks for a 2019 sixth-round pick.

From Jan. 23 to Feb. 19, St. Louis won 11 straight games and now sits in playoff position.

Kiselevich joins Jets frenzy

4:47 p.m. — Winnipeg added a defenseman with KHL and NHL experience by trading a 2021 seventh-round pick to the Panthers for Bogdan Kiselevich.

The 29-year-old has eight points over 32 games in his first NHL season.

Wideman finds his 4th team

4:31 p.m. — Chris Wideman has played for the Senators, Oilers and Panthers this season and next up are the Penguins, who acquired the defenseman from Florida in exchange for center Jean-Sebastien Dea.

The Panthers will be Dea's third club this season.

Penguins nab a blueliner

4:30 p.m. — The Penguins are banged up on defense, so they added Erik Gudbranson from the Canucks in exchange for forward Tanner Pearson.

Gudbranson was a minus-27 in 57 games with Vancouver, while Pearson is headed to his third team this season.

Jets bring back a veteran

4:01 p.m. — The Central Division-leading Jets brought back 37-year-old forward Matt Hendricks from the Wild in exchange for a 2020 seventh-round pick.

Hendricks, who has 603 games under his belt, appeared in 60 last season for Winnipeg.

Bruins bring in Johansson

4 p.m. — The Bruins are eyeing a long postseason run and supplemented it by acquiring winger Marcus Johansson from the Devils in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 fourth-round selection.

Johansson, who has 27 points in 48 games this season, can become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. Boston was also a possible suitor for Simmonds.

Sharks, Canucks make prospect swap

3:50 p.m. — The Sharks and Canucks swapped prospects as San Jose acquired Jonathan Dahlen from Vancouver in exchange for Linus Karlsson.

Dahlen has 29 points in the AHL this season, while Karlsson is a 19-year-old playing in Sweden.

Simmonds era in Philly ends

3:05 p.m. — Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher eventually pulled the trigger on a Simmonds deal, acquiring winger Ryan Hartman and a 2020 fourth-round draft pick from Nashville, which turns into a third-rounder if the Predators win a first-round playoff series.

A pending unrestricted free agent, Simmonds played eight seasons in Philadelphia and was beloved by Flyers fans for his toughness and loyalty.

He was a productive player, too. He scored 30-plus goals in back-to-back seasons from 2015-17, was the league's second-best power-play goal scorer to only Alex Ovechkin and was named the 2017 All-Star Game MVP. Overall, he played 584 regular-season games with the Flyers and scored 203 goals.

Senators unload Stone

2:44 p.m. — Ottawa continued its deconstruction by sending leading scorer Mark Stone to the Golden Knights for Oscar Lindberg, Erik Brannstrom and a 2020 second-round pick.

The defending Western Conference champs got a whole lot better with the move as Stone has 28 goals and 34 assists in 59 games this season. According to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, Stone said on TSN that he and Vegas have agreed to terms on an extension.

Predators land Granlund

2:40 p.m. — On top of Simmonds, Nashville also acquired Mikael Granlund from the Wild in exchange for winger Kevin Fiala.

Granlund, 26, is under contract next season and has 49 points in 63 games this season.

Flames bring in D help

2:32 p.m. — The Western Conference-leading Flames can really score the puck. At the deadline, they added to their defense by acquiring Oscar Fantenberg from the Kings in exchange for a conditional 2020 fourth-round pick.

Fantenberg, 27, has played 46 games this season, his second in the NHL.

Blue Jackets keep adding

1:53 p.m. — Columbus stayed busy Monday. The Blue Jackets tacked on in the afternoon by acquiring defenseman Adam McQuaid from the Rangers in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round pick and 2019 seventh-round pick.

McQuaid brings 498 games of experience to Columbus, a team the Flyers are trying to catch in the playoff race.

Avalanche snare Brassard

1:34 p.m. — Colorado entered Monday one point out of the Western Conference's second wild-card spot. To help with the playoff push, the Avalanche traded with the Panthers for center Derick Brassard. In the deal, Colorado also received a conditional 2020 sixth-round pick, while sending Florida a 2020 third-round selection.

Brassard, who has 19 points in 50 games, was traded from the Penguins to the Panthers earlier this month.

Panthers acquire an AHL forward

12:30 p.m. — The Panthers added forward Cliff Pu from the Hurricanes in exchange for future considerations.

Pu had six points in 44 games for AHL affiliate Charlotte.

Former Flyer Weal traded again

11:40 a.m. — Jordan Weal is on the move again. After being traded from the Flyers to the Coyotes in January, Weal was shipped to the Canadiens in exchange for center Michael Chaput.

The 26-year-old pending unrestricted free agent had one goal and one assist in 19 games with Arizona, playing only 10:57 minutes per game.

Rangers send Hayes to Jets

11:11 a.m. — After trading forward Mats Zuccarello to the Stars on Saturday, the Rangers dealt another one of their top scorers, sending winger Kevin Hayes to the Jets for a 2019 first-round pick, forward Brendan Lemieux and a conditional 2022 fourth-round pick.

Hayes was third on the Rangers with 42 points (14 goals, 28 assists) in 51 games.

Blue Jackets add Kinkaid

9:33 a.m. — The Blue Jackets are fighting to secure a playoff berth and added goalie depth for the stretch run by acquiring Keith Kinkaid from the Devils for a 2022 fifth-round pick.

Kinkaid, a 29-year-old set to be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, gives Columbus some insurance behind Sergei Bobrovsky.

Ducks, Senators make deal

12:28 a.m. — The NHL bottom-feeding Senators continued their moves, sending defenseman Patrick Sieloff to the Ducks for left winger Brian Gibbons. 

Gibbons has played 44 games this season, while Sieloff is a 24-year-old prospect.

Sharks acquire Nyquist

12:21 a.m. — The Sharks, in second place of the Pacific Division, added winger Gustav Nyquist from the Red Wings for a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 third-round pick.

Nyquist has 49 points (16 goals, 33 assists) in 62 games this season.

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