Flyers Rumors: Is Wayne Simmonds On the Block?
So far, it's been a quiet offseason for the Flyers through the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the NHL Draft and free agency getting closer, that could certainly change soon.
This offseason does have the potential to be a busy one for the Flyers though. After making the playoffs last season and starting to usher in more prospects, the team could be looking toward the future and taking steps to ensure they are in the best position to compete once the roster blueprint Ron Hextall has comes to complete fruition.
As is the case in the offseason, the rumor mill can start stirring with possibilities. One such rumor involves a Flyers fan favorite, Wayne Simmonds.
Simmonds is entering the final year of his contract in 2018-19 and the decision on his future in Philadelphia is a big one the Flyers will have to address in the next year. With that in mind, it could have the gritty forward on the trading block, according to one report.
According to The Athletic Minnesota's Michael Russo, the Flyers are "gearing up to potentially trade Simmonds."
Simmonds is coming off a season where he played through multiple injuries, making him a shell of himself by the end of the season. He still scored 24 goals last season despite the injuries.
Simmonds' current contract has him making $5 million per year with a $3.975 million cap hit, reasonable for a player of his ranking. In the two seasons prior to 2017-18, Simmonds scored 63 goals and had 114 points.
While his contract is currently manageable, it's difficult to project what he will earn in his next contract. Simmonds came out of the gate on a torrid pace with six goals in 12 games in October, including a season-opening hat trick. He struggled in November with just one goal, which is when several of the injuries started to set in.
With a full offseason to recover, Simmonds could easily return next season and produce as he did in previous seasons, pushing the 30-goal mark. The Flyers could also be looking to get something in return for Simmonds now, especially if they are eyeing a way to move up in the draft or acquire a player in an area of need.
While there is no evidence that the Flyers are actively shopping Simmonds, the idea that Simmonds could be used as a trade chip has been a topic of discussion throughout the offseason and certainly remains possible.
Whatever happens with Simmonds remains to be seen, but the idea that the Flyers could be preparing for life without the power forward is certainly an interesting thought and something to watch as the offseason progresses.
Kevin Durso is Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.