Wayne Simmonds
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Wayne Simmonds

Wayne Simmonds
Wayne Simmonds 2012-04-20.JPG
Simmonds with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2012
Born (1988-08-26) August 26, 1988 (age 32)
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Toronto Maple Leafs
Los Angeles Kings
Philadelphia Flyers
Nashville Predators
New Jersey Devils
Buffalo Sabres
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 61st overall, 2007
Los Angeles Kings
Playing career 2008–present

Wayne Simmonds (born August 26, 1988) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL). Simmonds has previously played for the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, and Buffalo Sabres. He is known to his teammates and fans by the nickname "Wayne Train".[1]

Playing career

Early life and minor hockey

Simmonds was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario, the third of four sons, in addition to one daughter, born to Cyril Simmonds and Wanda Mercury-Simmonds.[2] His family is originally from North Preston, Nova Scotia.[3] Despite growing up in what was then a suburb of Toronto, Simmonds has said he grew up a fan primarily of the Detroit Red Wings.[4] His favourite player growing up was Sergei Fedorov.[5]

Simmonds spent the majority of his minor hockey career playing A and AA hockey in the east end of Toronto, including the Minor Midget Toronto Aces in 2003-04 season of the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL). After several GTHL AAA players graduated the following summer to junior hockey, Simmonds moved up to the AAA level for the first time with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens midgets of the GTHL in 2004-05.

Junior career

After Simmonds was scouted at the Telus Cup Regional Midget tournament in the spring of 2005, Mike McCourt noticed him and signed him for the following season with the Brockville Braves of the Central Junior A Hockey League for the 2005-06 season. McCourt was general manager and coach of the Braves and added Simmonds to his club.

Two years after being passed over in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Draft, Simmonds was selected as an 18-year-old by the Owen Sound Attack in the sixth round, 114th overall, in the 2006 OHL Priority Selection.

Simmonds spent his major junior career playing two seasons in the OHL from 2006 until 2008 with the Owen Sound Attack and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He also played for Canada at the 2008 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.[6] While playing with the Jr. Canadiens, Simmonds became friends with Chris Stewart. The two would later purchase a house together in Toronto, where they lived during the off-season.[7]

Professional career

Los Angeles Kings

Simmonds with the Los Angeles Kings in 2008

A right-handed shooter, Simmonds was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round, 61st overall, of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.[2] He was one of three rookies to make the team's roster for its 2008-09 season. On October 14, 2008, in his third career game, Simmonds scored his first career NHL goal by knocking a rebound past Jean-Sébastien Giguère of the Anaheim Ducks.[8] During his rookie season, Simmonds became a favourite among L.A. fans for his strong work ethic on and off the ice,[1] a trait he has said was instilled within him by his parents.[9]

Entering his second NHL season, Simmonds was looking to increase his offensive production, having tied for the Kings' goal-scoring lead in pre-season play that year.[10] He ultimately scored 40 points in the 2009-10 regular season, nearly doubling his point total of the previous season. Additionally, he led the team in plus-minus and saw substantive time as a member of the team's penalty killing unit.[11] When the Kings unsuccessfully pursued a trade for superstar left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, then of the Atlanta Thrashers, shortly before that season's All-Star break, Simmonds was among the Kings' players whom Atlanta wanted in return.[12]

Philadelphia Flyers

On June 23, 2011, Simmonds was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers (along with Brayden Schenn and a second-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft) in exchange for Mike Richards and Rob Bordson.[13] As a restricted free agent, he signed a two-year contract with an average salary of $1.75 million.[14]

Simmonds during his first season with the Philadelphia Flyers, December 2011

On September 22, 2011, during a pre-season game in London, Ontario, between the Detroit Red Wings and the Flyers, a banana was thrown onto the ice while Simmonds was making a shootout attempt.[15] This was seen as an act of racism. The following day, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement regarding the events of the previous day. "We have millions of great fans who show tremendous respect for our players and for the game," said Bettman in the statement, "the obviously stupid and ignorant action by one individual is in no way representative of our fans or the people of London, Ontario."[16] Chris Moorhouse later pleaded guilty to engaging in a prohibited activity under the Ontario Trespass to Property Act and was fined $200, but did not need to appear in court.[17][18]

Simmonds achieved a Gordie Howe hat-trick in a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center on February 11, 2012.[19] On March 30, 2012, against the Ottawa Senators, Flyers centre Brayden Schenn shot a puck which glanced off of Simmonds' forehead and into the net. Simmonds was credited with the goal.

On August 15, 2012, the Flyers signed Simmonds to a six-year extension worth an annual average value of approximately $4 million.[20]

During the 2012-13 NHL lockout, Simmonds was playing with ETC Crimmitschau of the 2nd Bundesliga and HC Bílí Tyg?i Liberec of the Czech Extraliga. In a game between Liberec and Piráti Chomutov in the Czech Extraliga, fans began a chant of "opice", a term which roughly translates to "monkey", towards Simmonds, after his involvement in a fight. Shortly after the game, Chomutov issued an apology to Simmonds and also announced the intent to identify the people involved and ban them from the venue.[21] Eight of the offending fans were later identified and tried before a court. As a punishment, they were banned from visiting any sports matches for a year.[22]

On February 20, 2013, Simmonds recorded another Gordie Howe hat-trick in a 6-5 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Consol Energy Center[23] when he scored a goal and an assist and fought Tanner Glass. Later that same week, on February 23, Simmonds recorded another Gordie Howe hat-trick in a 5-3 home win against the Winnipeg Jets, fighting Chris Thorburn, assisting on the Flyers' first goal and scoring the game-winning goal.[24]

Simmonds recorded 29 goals to go with 31 assists for a career high 60 points during the 2013-14 season. He later matched this career-high during the 2015-16 season. Simmonds has also gained a reputation for his physical play, leading the Flyers in penalty minutes in 2015-16 with 147. During a February 6 game against the New York Rangers, Simmonds received a game misconduct for punching Rangers' captain Ryan McDonagh with a gloved hand, but was not suspended by the league.[25]

Simmonds represented Philadelphia in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game and was named the Game's MVP after scoring three goals, including the game-winner of the final game.[26]

During the entire 2017-18 season, Simmonds played with a tear in his pelvis area, torn groin, fractured ankle, torn thumb ligament and a busted jaw.[27] Despite this long list of injuries, Simmonds was still able to break the 40-point mark on the season. He was nominated for the Mark Messier Leadership Award at the end of the season.[28]

Nashville Predators

In the 2018-19 season, his eighth with the Flyers, Simmonds production dipped in producing 16 goals and 27 points through 62 games. While in the final year of his six-year contract with the Flyers, Simmonds was dealt at the trade deadline to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Ryan Hartman and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020 on February 25, 2019.[29]

Simmonds was awarded the Mark Messier Leadership Award at the end of the season, and is the first and only player to switch teams during their award-winning season.

New Jersey Devils

On July 1, 2019, the New Jersey Devils signed Simmonds as a free agent on a one-year, $5 million contract.[30] Simmonds faced his former team, the Philadelphia Flyers, for the first time on October 9, 2019, where he was given a tribute video and an ovation by Flyers fans. However, soon after, he was booed each time he touched the puck during the game due to a viral video of him stating he would expect nothing else from Philadelphia. The Flyers defeated the Devils 4-0 in the end.[31] Through 61 games with the Devils, Simmonds contributed with 8 goals and 24 points.

Buffalo Sabres

With the Devils out of playoff contention, Simmonds was dealt at the NHL trade deadline to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft on February 24, 2020.[32][33]

On June 8, 2020, Simmonds became an inaugural executive board member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, whose goal is to address intolerance and racism in hockey.[34]

Toronto Maple Leafs

As a free agent from the Sabres, Simmonds signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the hometown Toronto Maple Leafs on October 9, 2020, the first signing on the opening day of free agency.[35] Simmonds had been closely tied to the Maple Leafs in the days leading up to free agency and took a discount to play for the team, rejecting higher offers from other clubs.[36][37][38]

On June 29, 2021, Simmonds as an impending free agent opted to remain with the Maple Leafs, signing a two-year, $1.8 million contract extension.[39]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004-05 Toronto Jr. Canadiens GTHL 67 32 40 72 97 -- -- -- -- --
2005-06 Brockville Braves CJHL 49 24 19 43 127 7 4 2 6 12
2006-07 Owen Sound Attack OHL 66 23 26 49 112 4 1 1 2 4
2007-08 Owen Sound Attack OHL 29 17 22 39 43 -- -- -- -- --
2007-08 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 31 16 20 36 68 14 5 9 14 22
2008-09 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 9 14 23 73 -- -- -- -- --
2009-10 Los Angeles Kings NHL 78 16 24 40 116 6 2 1 3 9
2010-11 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 14 16 30 75 6 1 2 3 20
2011-12 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 82 28 21 49 114 11 1 5 6 38
2012-13 ETC Crimmitschau 2.GBun 9 4 10 14 35 -- -- -- -- --
2012-13 HC Bílí Tyg?i Liberec ELH 6 4 2 6 4 -- -- -- -- --
2012-13 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 45 15 17 32 82 -- -- -- -- --
2013-14 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 82 29 31 60 106 7 4 1 5 20
2014-15 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 75 28 22 50 66 -- -- -- -- --
2015-16 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 81 32 28 60 147 6 0 2 2 13
2016-17 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 82 31 23 54 122 -- -- -- -- --
2017-18 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 75 24 22 46 57 6 0 2 2 6
2018-19 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 62 16 11 27 90 -- -- -- -- --
2018-19 Nashville Predators NHL 17 1 2 3 9 2 0 0 0 0
2019-20 New Jersey Devils NHL 61 8 16 24 64 -- -- -- -- --
2019-20 Buffalo Sabres NHL 7 0 1 1 2 -- -- -- -- --
2020-21 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 38 7 2 9 45 7 0 1 1 2
NHL totals 947 258 250 508 1168 51 8 14 22 108

International

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2008 Canada WJC 1st place, gold medalist(s) 7 1 0 1 4
2013 Canada WC 5th 8 1 0 1 2
2017 Canada WC 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 10 0 2 2 4
Junior totals 7 1 0 1 4
Senior totals 18 1 2 3 6

Awards and honors

References

  1. ^ a b Medina, Mark. (December 9, 2009). "Kings' Wayne Simmonds steps into contributing role" Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ a b Elliott, Helene (October 1, 2008). "NHL dream near reality for Kings' Wayne Simmonds". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009.
  3. ^ "NHLer with Maritime roots named All-Star MVP". CTV News Atlantic. February 1, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Elliott, Helene. (January 25, 2010). "Kings' Wayne Simmonds to have a homecoming in Toronto", Los Angeles Times
  5. ^ https://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/2016/11/11/flyers-simmonds-has-some-lindros-like-qualities-on-and-off-the-ice.html
  6. ^ "Player Card: Wayne Simmonds". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2009.
  7. ^ Campbell, Ken. (August 2, 2010). "The Impossible Dream", The Hockey News
  8. ^ Elliott, Helene (October 14, 2008). "Kings rewarded in 6-3 win over Ducks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009.
  9. ^ McGourty, John. (February 1, 2009). "Right Wing trio adds to the NHL's expanding diversity", National Hockey League
  10. ^ Elloitt, Helene. (October 2, 2009). "Wayne Simmonds is reaching his goals" Los Angeles Times
  11. ^ "A Bigger Simmer".
  12. ^ Markazi, Arash. (February 4, 2010). "Kings do right in standing pat", ESPN
  13. ^ "Flyers deal Richards to Kings for Simmonds and Schenn". The Sports Network. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ "Philadelphia Flyers sign forward Wayne Simmonds". The Sports Network. July 11, 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  15. ^ "Fan throws banana peel at Philadelphia Flyers' forward Wayne Simmonds during preseason game". Daily News. New York.
  16. ^ "Simmonds Ready to Move On from Ugly Incident in London". The Sports Network. September 23, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  17. ^ Kimelman, Adam (September 28, 2011). "Suspect charged in banana-throwing incident". Retrieved 2011.
  18. ^ Weir, Tom (January 9, 2012). "Hockey fan fined $200 for throwing banana at black player". USA Today. Retrieved 2012.
  19. ^ "New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers - February 11th, 2012". National Hockey League.
  20. ^ "Report: Simmonds, Flyers agree on six-year extension". NHL official site. August 15, 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  21. ^ "Racist chants directed at Simmonds in Czech League". velvethockey.uk. October 29, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  22. ^ "Osmi fanou?k?m Chomutova byl za rasismus zakázán vstup na stadion" (in Czech). Czech News Agency. March 20, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  23. ^ "Wayne Simmonds records a Gordie Howe hat trick against Penguins (Video)". Larry Brown Sports. February 21, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  24. ^ "Report: Despite slow start, Flyers finish off Jets". Courier Post. February 23, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  25. ^ Leonard, Pat (February 8, 2016). "Alain Vigneault angered over lack of suspension for Wayne Simmonds after Ryan McDonagh sustains concussion on sucker-punch". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ a b c Rosen, Dan (January 29, 2017). "Wayne Simmonds named All-Star Game MVP". Los Angeles: National Hockey League. Retrieved 2018.
  27. ^ Carchidi, Sam (April 25, 2018). "Wayne Simmonds played the Flyers' season with a laundry list of debilitating injuries". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2018.
  28. ^ "Wheeler, Simmonds, Engelland finalists for Mark Messier Leadership Award". sportsnet.ca. April 24, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  29. ^ "Predators acquire forward Wayne Simmonds from Philadelphia". Nashville Predators. February 25, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ "Devils agree to terms with Wayne Simmonds". New Jersey Devils. July 1, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  31. ^ "Wayne Simmonds receives thunderous ovation from Flyers fans ... then gets his boos". NBC Sports Philadelphia. October 9, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  32. ^ "Sabres acquire Simmonds from New Jersey". National Hockey League. February 24, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  33. ^ "Sabres get Wayne Simmonds from Devils". NBC Sports. February 24, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  34. ^ "Hockey Diversity Alliance formed by seven current, former NHL players". National Hockey League. June 8, 2020.
  35. ^ "Maple Leafs sign forward Wayne Simmonds". Toronto Maple Leafs. October 9, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  36. ^ "Report: Leafs interested in signing Simmonds". Score Media and Gaming Inc. October 6, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  37. ^ "NHL draft day: The Leafs could have interest in Wayne Simmonds, Max Domi traded to Columbus, Ottawa in Jeopardy!". Torstar. October 7, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  38. ^ "The Maple Leafs bring home Wayne Simmonds and add T.J. Brodie on defence". Torstar. October 9, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  39. ^ "Maple Leafs sign Simmonds to contract extension". Toronto Maple Leafs. June 29, 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  40. ^ "Simmonds of Predators wins Messier NHL Leadership Award". National Hockey League. June 19, 2019. Retrieved 2019.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Claude Giroux
Winner of the Bobby Clarke Trophy
2016-17
Succeeded by
Claude Giroux

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