Wayne Simmonds said he was prepared to play out the final season of his contract in 2012-13 and worry about a new deal next summer.
Plans changed, however, when the Philadelphia Flyers recently offered the 23-year-old right wing a multiyear contract extension, and the new deal officially was announced by the club Thursday.
No terms were announced, but according to the Flyers' website, the contract is for six years, starting with the 2013-14 season, for a total of $23.82 million, with an annual average value of $3.97 million. TSN first reported the extension was in place late Wednesday night.
Right Wing - PHI
GOALS: 28 | ASST: 21 | PTS: 49
SOG: 197 | +/-: -1
"I thought I had a pretty productive season last year, but coming into the summer I didn't know exactly where I stood or what would happen," Simmonds said Thursday on a conference call. "I talked to Homer [Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren] a little bit, but I still wasn't sure on the contract front. … When Homer came to us with the contract extension, the three of us [Holmgren, Simmonds and Simmonds' agent] thought it was a good idea."
Simmonds is coming off a season that saw him set career-highs with 28 goals, 49 points, 11 power-play goals, four game-winning goals and 197 shots on goal. He also was third on the team in the regular season with 114 penalty minutes, and showed no hesitation to stick up for his teammates.
Simmonds was durable, playing all 82 games for the second time in his four NHL seasons. He's missed six games in four seasons.
"Wayne plays the game with courage and honor, and we believe he will continue to be a very good winger for our organization," Holmgren said.
Simmonds will be counted on even more heavily this season, following the departures of Jaromir Jagr and James van Riemsdyk. However, he doesn't plan on changing anything that made him successful last season.
"I don't feel pressure," he said. "I'm going to go out there and work as hard as I can every day, whether it's on the ice or off the ice. I'm going to continue to progress as a player and do everything I can to help the Philadelphia Flyers win."
Simmonds, who was at his best on a line with center Danny Briere and left wing Brayden Schenn, said he wasn't concerned if that trio started the 2012-13 season together or not.
"I played on every single line last year," he said. "The way Lavi [coach Peter Laviolette] did it was if you weren't working he'd switch it up. The last quarter of the season I played the majority with Schenner and Danny and I had a good time playing on that line. I thought we were successful [but] I'm willing to play wherever Lavi puts me."
Simmonds joined the Flyers with Schenn last June in the trade that sent Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings. In 322 NHL games with Los Angeles and Philadelphia, Simmonds has 62 goals, 75 assists and 378 penalty minutes.
"Since I came to Philadelphia it's been a great place for me," he said. "I signed this extension hoping we can bring a Stanley Cup to Philadelphia. I just want to be another piece of the puzzle. I think we've got a great young core put in place. This is where I want to be for a long time."
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