Posts Tagged ‘Wayne Simmonds’

The Philadelphia Flyers and winger Wayne Simmonds have held preliminary talks about a new contract, he told theScore’s John Matisz at BioSteel Camp on Wednesday.

While discussions have started, Simmonds is focused primarily on his health heading into the final season of his six-year, $23.85-million contract.

“I’ve gotta get healthy, first and foremost, and show (them) that I am the player that I was, I think, two years ago,” Simmonds said, according to Matisz.

Following the Flyers’ first-round playoff elimination in April, Simmonds revealed a ridiculous list of injuries he played through in 2017-18.

The 30-year-old still managed to suit up in 75 contests last season, recording 24 goals and 46 points – his lowest total in both categories in a full campaign since 2011-12.

When fully healthy, Simmonds is one of the premier producers at his position. Since 2013-14, Simmonds’ 144 goals rank sixth among all right-wingers. If he can get back on track next season, it’s safe to say he’ll be in line for a raise from his modest $3.975 million cap hit.

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Wayne Simmonds has experienced racism in the NHL first-hand in the past, and according to the Philadelphia Flyers forward, it’s still an issue in the league.

“I don’t want to say it’s completely gone – racism in the game – because I believe it’s not,” Simmonds told Joey Vendetta of Sportsnet 590 on Wednesday. “I’ve had situations arise where I’ve had things said to me or done to me, but I think for myself it’s kind of a motivator.”

Simmonds grew up in Toronto, and played junior in the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, but having played his entire pro career in the United States with the Los Angeles Kings and Flyers, he’s noticed a difference between the two countries.

“Growing up in Canada, I think it was a little bit different. Obviously hockey is life in Canada. So you grow up as a young black kid and everyone is playing hockey around you, so it’s easy to get into,” Simmonds said.

“But I think it’s just easier in Canada. I think the States is kind of, as it’s going now – I don’t want to say it’s segregated, but I think you feel it a little bit more. You feel it a little bit more in the States, whereas in Canada it’s – especially in Toronto, it’s a melting pot. You’ve got every single culture. You’ve got everything here under the sun. It’s like a rainbow. You just don’t feel it as much when you’re growing up in Canada. And I moved to the States I started to notice it a little bit more, but I’m always around good people so it doesn’t have an effect on me.”

Simmonds generally let’s his play do the talking, and lately, his performance has spoken volumes, setting a career high in goals last season with 32.

Things aren’t looking good of late for the Philadelphia Flyers.

They’re slowly dropping out of playoff contention, they have one of the game’s highest payrolls – just north of $74 million – and their efforts on the ice have been questioned by their starting netminder.

Things got worse Wednesday when an article appeared on NJ.com questioning the worth of Claude Giroux as Flyers captain.

The piece calls out Giroux as being partly responsible for the compete level of the team and the squad underachieving. It also questions why he hasn’t called out his teammates for their lack of effort. The article even asks fans to cast a vote for who should wear the ‘C’ for the Flyers next season.

The article set off teammate Wayne Simmonds.

“That’s bull—-,” Simmonds told Frank Seravalli of Philly Daily News. “It has nothing to do with team leadership or how good of a captain he is. He goes out there every single shift and plays his heart out. For (that writer) to even speculate that ‘G’ is not a good leader is a joke. It’s embarrassing.”

Giroux, who isn’t the most talkative with the media, responded about his role as captain.

“This team is one of the most important things in my life,” Giroux said. “I take it to heart. It means a lot to me how this team plays, how this team goes. I care a lot for these players. We always try to do our best for the team. I come to the rink every day and I’m happy to be around this team. I get up in the morning and I’m pretty excited to come to the rink.”

Giroux would obviously like to see his team play better and knows there are areas they need to work on.

“We’re obviously not in the situation that we want to be in right now,” Giroux said. “We made a lot of mistakes that cost us that. It’s not one, two or three players – it’s everybody that comes together.

“I think we had times during the year that we played very good hockey, we played as a team, and our chemistry was really good. I don’t know how to explain (our troubles). When we have big games, we find a way to play at our best. I don’t know if we’re not ready or our motivation isn’t as good when we play against teams that are not as good. It’s obviously something we’ve got to look at.”

Giroux has 61 points in 67 games and was running away with the lead in the poll for next season’s captain with a 72.82 percent vote at the time of this writing.