Flyers (RW) Wayne Simmonds held a conference call with the media on Thursday. Below is the transcript...
Q: On signing his extension
“Obviously I think since I’ve come to Philadelphia, I think it’s been a great place for me. I signed this extension just hoping that we could bring a Stanley Cup to Philadelphia. I just want to be another piece of the puzzle. I think we have a great young core put in place. Obviously this is where I want to be for a long time.”
Q: On signing the contract during CBA negotiations
“I’m not too sure. I think [Paul Holmgren] and my agent just started speaking about the contract recently. I think a deal came up where I think it’s smart of me to take it. Just to be a part of the Flyers organization for a substantial amount of time, I jumped on it.”
Q: Were you surprised this happened this far from when your current contract ends?
“I thought I had a pretty productive season last year. I didn’t know exactly coming into the summer where I stood or what would happen. I’d talked to [Holmgren] a little bit, but I still wasn’t too sure on the contract front, so I was obviously going into the season planning on doing well. When [Holmgren] came to us with the contract extension, I spoke with my agent and obviously the three of us thought it was a good idea.”
Q: Who do you think you might play with next season?
“I honestly couldn’t say. I played on every single line last year. The way that [Peter Laviolette] did, if you’re not working he’s gonna switch it up. I think the last quarter of the season I played the majority with [Brayden Schenn] and [Danny Briere]. I had a good time playing on that line; I thought we were successful. I’m willing to play wherever [Laviolette] puts me.”
Q: Do you feel any pressure to up your game?
“I don’t feel pressure, but obviously I’m going to go out there, and I work as hard as I can every day whether it’s on the ice or off the ice. I think I’m going to continue to progress as a player, and I’m going to do everything I can to help the Philadelphia Flyers win.”
Q: What do you remember about the last work stoppage and how do you think another one might affect things?
“Last lockout, there wasn’t a season for a full year and I think it knocked back a lot of players… younger guys had to drop down leagues and things of that sort. We presented a proposal to the league, and I don’t think the players want [a work stoppage] any means, but I think it’s going to come closer to September 15th before a decision’s made.”
Q: Do you think down the road you could be a 35 or 40-goal guy?
“That would be nice. I certainly think we have the talent on our team. I don’t even think it matters who you play with on our team, everyone’s great. We’ve got four great centers and they’re just surrounded by talent. I think obviously I’m going to continue to improve… I’m not going to put numbers on it, but I need to get better as an all-around player and I’m definitely going to work towards that.”
Q: On LA winning the Cup the year after he left
“Even before the LA Kings won, as soon as I was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers, that’s what I want to do – is win a Stanley Cup for the Philadelphia Flyers. I don’t think it changes much that LA won it last year. Obviously we’re still hungry. We’ve got a hungry group of guys. Everybody’s got the same thing on their mind – our ultimate goal is to win a Stanley Cup. We have a lot of guys who think alike on our team, so it’s a good situation.”
Q: Have you done anything different this summer to continue to build on last year?
“Not really. I’m still doing pretty much the same thing. I did switch trainers, but I’m still with pretty much the same group of guys I worked out with for the last three off-seasons, and everything so far is going well.”
Q: On his gut feeling on the labor situation
“Honestly I have no clue. All the players are obviously going to show up if we’re ready to play the season. But by September 15, if a deal’s not reached, I’m not too sure. This is my first time going through this and I’m really not too familiar with the process. But from all the players’ accounts, we want to play. We’re ready to start.”
Q: Are you making backup plans?
“I haven’t started looking as of yet. Obviously I’m hoping there’s a season. I’m sure as it comes closer I’ll speak to my agent about that and see where things go from there.”