Wayne Simmonds in one of his 128 games as a Maple Leaf
Photo credit: RDS

Wayne Simmonds makes major announcement regarding his NHL career

Published January 26, 2024 at 3:40 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI

When the 2022-23 season came to a close, there were a lot of question marks in Toronto surrounding who would be returning and who would be departing last summer. There was a lot of turnover, as expected, but when the dust had settled, one Leafs forward did not sign a new contract this summer. He has remained an unrestricted free agent and while there were a lot of questions about his future. I am, of course, talking about Scarborough, Ontario native, Wayne Simmonds.

Simmonds, now 35 years of age, enjoyed an NHL career that spanned across 15 seasons. During that time, Simmonds suited up in 1,037 games, split between the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres and, of course, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Simmonds managed to rack up 263 career NHL goals and 526 points during his career, though his major claim to fame was his fearlessness and ferocity. Simmonds was a power forward first and an enforcer second, having scored more than 20 goals on 6 occasions during his career. He even eclipsed the 30-goal threshold twice. Of course, his 1,313 career penalty minutes were also noteworthy.

While questions about his future were not yet officially answered, in an interview with reporter Joshua Clipperton this week, Simmonds confirmed that he is, in fact, retired.

"I haven't officially announced my retirement, but I'm done. I had a great career. It was the best time I've ever had in my life. Right now, it's family time." - Simmonds on the status of his playing career



Simmonds was also very pleased to have had the opportunity to play at home and finish his career as a Maple Leaf, though it was apparent that he wished that the homecoming had happened sooner in his career, when he had more to give and may have been in the lineup more consistently.

"Nice to be able to play at home. From the playing aspect, it wasn't what I hoped ... I'm still grateful to the organization for allowing me to put on the Maple Leaf. That's an iconic jersey. It's something that I'll never forget."

After playing in 72 games for the Maple Leafs in 2021-22, Simmonds was limited to just 18 games in 2022-23 and did not play in a single playoff game against Tampa or Florida in rounds 1 and 2. One need only watch some of his highlights from his peak in Philadelphia to know what he would have brought to this team in the playoffs, had he arrived in Toronto sooner.

If this truly is the end of Simmonds' playing days, we'd like to congratulate "The Wayne Train" on a wonderful NHL career and wish him all the best in whatever comes next, along with the family life that is.

POLL
January 26   |   562 answers
Wayne Simmonds makes major announcement regarding his NHL career

Do you think Wayne Simmonds would be an improvement over Ryan Reaves right now?

Absolutely23341.5 %
No, he'd be about the same25244.8 %
No, he'd be worse7713.7 %
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