It is no secret that Wayne Simmonds contract is up at the end of the 2018-19 season and it has sparked a fierce debate among the fans as what to do with him. While the thought of moving on from the fan-favorite is tough, it is something that could become a reality in the near future, Especially now that Hextall is gone and the winds of change are blowing. This is the top 5 landing spots for Wayne Simmonds.
Number 5- Minnesota Wild
Even though the Wild are in a nightmare situation cap wise, a change in scenery could be just what they need to finally push themselves past the first round of the playoffs. Their core is starting to age and, even though Simmonds is no spring chicken, he could help squeeze a solid push out of a team that hasn’t made it out of the first round in three years.
Number 4- Tampa Bay Lightning
With the all-in mentality of the Lightning franchise who are so close to a Stanley Cup they can taste it, it wouldn’t be too hard to believe that they would consider adding a player like Simmonds come the trade deadline. Already one of the deepest teams in the league, adding Simmonds would probably be a rental move, unlike other teams on the list who could use his services long-term. Even though moving him within the Conference is not ideal, the Bolts do have a couple interesting names in their prospect pool that could make a nice return for Simmonds rather than losing him for nothing in free agency.
Number 3- Edmonton Oilers
After trading both Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle for less than ideal returns, the Oilers realized they needed help on the wings. Even though the Oilers aren’t in an ideal cap situation, they have more than a few interesting players that could make for a decent return for Simmonds. Simmonds would immediately slot into the Oliers top six and would be a huge relief on the powerplay, where the Oilers ranked dead last during the 2017-18 season.
Number 2- Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres have taken the NHL by storm this year and are looking to make a serious push for the Cup already. The biggest issue for Buffalo would be squeezing Simmonds $3.97 million dollar contract under their cap. Yet the Sabres have three first round picks and a few aging vets to spare, so a trade isn’t entirely impossible, especially depending on where the Flyers are at the end of this season.
Number 1- Nashville Predators
David Poile has never been shy making a blockbuster trade to give his team a push heading into the playoffs. Given that Nashville’s playoff window is still very much open, a key player like Simmonds could be just the boost they need to finally capture the elusive Stanley Cup. Not only do the Preds have enough cap space to absorb Simmonds (about $7.6 Million as of the writing of this piece), they also have plenty of prospects that could be too mouth watering to pass up. With names like Kevin Fiala and Emil Petterson in their pipeline, the potential return could fast track the Flyers continued rebuild.
Winnipeg Jets– Now that the Jets have tasted the spotlight with an appearance in the 2017-18 Western Conference Final, they could seek to gear up and make another serious push for the big one. I think it is safe to be cautious with this one though, as i doubt Simmonds would be more than a rental for the Jets. Even though they have over $10 million in cap space at the moment, they still have the likes of Patrik Laine and Jacob Trouba to sign next summer. The Jets do have a couple enticing prospects that they may be willing to part with if they feel Simmonds could give them the added firepower to secure a Stanley Cup this year.
Anaheim Ducks- When I tought about this list, Anaheim was the first team that popped into my mind. Simmonds gritty style of play would fit right in amongst the likes of Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler, and his scoring ability on the powerplay will be a huge help to the Ducks who ranked 23rd last season. Anaheim’s core is starting to age as Getzlaf, Perry, and Kesler all approach their mid-30’s, so the Ducks could be in desperation mode to bring another cup to the pond before time catches up to them.
Dallas Stars– Dallas is a hot mess right now and could really use some star power. With most of their core in their mid-to-late-20’s, it will soon be time to make a decision to make a push or opt for a rebuild. While Simmonds wouldn’t solve their age issue, his offensive output would certainly be a nice addition to a team in the middle of the pack in scoring. Missing the playoffs by just three points last season could be a driving force to bolster their offense and Simmonds would fit that role nicely.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: losangeles.cbslocal.com