Power-forward, Wayne Simmonds, is currently under a 2yr/$3.5M contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, due to expire by the end of the 2012-13 League-year. Just this morning, news broke that his stay in the City of Brotherly Love has been boosted --
Actually that cap hit is a rounded figure. It's really $3.9mm against our cap for the next six seasons. Including the 2012-13 schedule, Wayne's looking to wear the Flyers' sweater for two-clicks more than half a decade. Our fanbase could not welcome such a player to an extension any more.
Simmonds' first year with the Orange & Black was certainly a career best, potting 28-goals and rounding out the season with 49pts total. Prior to becoming part of the Mike Richards trade, Wayne had only netted 16-pucks but breached the twenty-mark emphatically. With the Philadelphia Flyers, Simmonds took on more ice time, a higher responsibility, and a new occupation as a big body in front of the opposing keeper. Not only did #17 accept the challenge, he came through with enormous success.
When Wayne wasn't lighting lamps, he was taking bodies. Once again, Simmonds finished his first season with the Flyers with a career best 140-hits.
Though his statistics are sexy for a grinder, it wasn't just his additions to the scoreboard that had Philly falling in love with him.
Wayne threw down with opposing tough-guys on a regular basis. He chirped at their benches with an "I dare you" style. He performed his best hockey when a heavy chip laid on his shoulders, and took it out by beating netminders, defeating bulwark giants deep in the slot, and tossing aggressors around the rink like Koosh balls.
The contractual terms have not yet been disclosed, but a $3.9mm cap hit is more than worth it for a player like Simmonds. Especially if Wayne continues to strengthen and broaden his game, and then he'll become a bargain....if he isn't already.
Championship winning teams need skaters like Wayne "Train" Simmonds. Not just for the attributes I've highlighted, but --much like a Max Talbot-- Wayne brings his lunch box with him on every shift, leading by example. His grinding along the boards can be credited to both his physical stature and the beating five-ton machine in his chest we all call HEART.
Welcome aboard the Wayne Train, Flyers fans.
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