When the Flyers swung one of their big trades this summer with Los Angeles, one of the two players they got in return for Mike Richards was Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds was making a name for himself as a hard-nosed right winger with a bit of a scoring touch on top of it all. At almost 23 years-old, Simmonds is set to become a cult hero with his brand of hockey in Philadelphia after signing with the team for two years at $3.5 million.
The deal works out to a $1.75 million salary cap hit for the next two seasons while the Flyers creep up on the salary cap. With Maxime Talbot’s deal being held up by the league, CapGeek reports that the Flyers are at just below $61 million on payroll. That total counts Brayden Schenn’s cap hit of over $3 million should he land a spot with the team out of training camp. His hit is bloated thanks to bonuses figured into his entry level deal.
Simmonds had a down year offensively for L.A. last season scoring 14 goals and totaling 30 points, down from 40 points the season before. He plays physically, doesn’t mind mixing things up a bit (75 PIM last year, 116 two years ago) and plays aggressively at all times. In short, he’s going to be well loved by Philly fans.
With Simmonds and likely Schenn starting in Philadelphia the Flyers will have more of that west coast flavor to them and add to the different feel in the locker room. With guys like Richards and Carter out and Schenn, Simmonds, Maxime Talbot, Jakub Voracek, and Ilya Bryzgalov in the Flyers should be a bit more easy-going off the ice. Just don’t tell Chris Pronger that.