Simmonds cherishes Stadium Series win, possible final game with Flyers
Forward, in eighth season with Philadelphia, might be traded before Deadlineby Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
PHILADELPHIA -- Wayne Simmonds admitted he took an extra moment to enjoy the Philadelphia Flyers' 4-3 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday, because he knows it might have been his last game with the Flyers.
Simmonds, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, could be traded ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday at 3 p.m. ET.
"Don't know what my future holds here the next 48 hours," the 30-year-old forward said. "It was nice to stand out there and get that win and have all those cheers. ... I don't know what's going to happen. Obviously, I'd like to stay here, but it's out of my hands now. It is what it is at this point. I can truly say I've given everything I have to Philadelphia over the last eight years.
"I think you savor it a little bit more. Obviously, this has been my home. I live in Toronto in the offseason, and then I'm in Philadelphia. It's been eight years. I consider myself a part of this community, a part of the team, everything that goes on in the city. It was special being out there and getting the two points tonight."
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Simmonds is tied for fourth on the Flyers with 16 goals in 62 games this season. His 203 goals since coming to Philadelphia in a trade from the Los Angeles Kings on June 23, 2011, lead the Flyers and are 16th in the NHL. His 91 power-play goals are tied with Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning for second most in the League in that span, behind Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (141).
His energy and work ethic make him a leader on and off the ice.
"He makes everybody play braver, there's no question about it," Flyers coach Scott Gordon said. "The energy he brings, whether it's a hit or a fight or whatever it might be. His enthusiasm on the bench ... I don't know what's going to happen moving forward with him, but I'm certainly hoping that he is here with us. He provides us with a lot, and whatever appreciation I had for him before I took the job here, I have even more now."
Simmonds' teammates feel the same way.
"It's a tough situation," captain Claude Giroux said. "You just don't know what's going to happen. He's been an ultimate warrior. He's been the best teammate all these years and it's ... something really that we can't control, so it's definitely frustrating a little bit. But we've all been here for a while now and we understand the business of it, but it doesn't mean we have to like it. There's not enough good words I can say about Wayne Simmonds."
Simmonds became emotional describing how Giroux and forward Jakub Voracek gave him the player of the game helmet in the locker room.
"Pretty special," he said. "Got a little bit choked up. Oskar [Lindblom] had it, gave it to [Giroux], G gave it to Jake, and Jake gave it to me. I've known those guys for so long, even before I came to Philadelphia I knew Jake and G, so pretty special getting it from those guys. It was nice."
With a day off Sunday and friends in town for the game, Simmonds is going to do his best to ignore the noise surrounding him, as hard as that is.
Whatever happens, he said he's most looking forward to knowing Monday afternoon what his future holds, whether it's in Philadelphia or elsewhere.
"My wife is 6 1/2 months pregnant," he said. "We've got to figure out what we're going to be doing for the back half to the season, where we're going to deliver our baby. It's been more than just hockey that's running through my mind. So that'll be nice."