Simmonds celebrating a goal with his teammates
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Maple Leafs react to Wayne Simmonds' retirement announcement

Published March 19, 2024 at 11:53
BY DEAN CHAUDHRY

With Wayne Simmonds officially announcing his retirement yesterday, the Philadelphia Flyers are expected to sign him to a one-day contract and will honour his career and tenure with the club in their penultimate game of the season on the 13th of April.

Best known for his days in a Flyers sweater, Simmonds spent his first 3 seasons with the Los Angeles Kings before 8 solid years in Philadelphia. He wound up spending the final 5 years of his career with pit stops in Nashville, New Jersey, and Buffalo before finishing things off in Toronto. By the time he signed with the Maple Leafs, he was a shell of his former self, which was a prolific power forward who scored 25-30 goals perennially and often tallied over 100+ PIMs a season.

Nevertheless, if there was one thing to take away from yesterday's announcement it's that his colleagues hold him to the highest regard as a player, a teammate, and a friend.

Simmonds was a tough player to play against and that was evidenced by his 1,313 PIMs, 1,913 hits, and many many fighting majors. He was also a leader in the locker room even dating back to his early days with the Flyers where he sported the "A" between 2014-15 and 2018-19. One of those aforementioned colleagues in Toronto was Morgan Rielly, who played with Simmonds in his final 3 years and had nothing but glowing remarks:


"I enjoyed everything about playing with Wayne. He's a great teammate. He plays a hard brand of hockey. Playing against him for all those years when he was in Philly, it was very difficult. But having him here in our room for a couple years was just a pleasure the entire time."

Head coach, Sheldon Keefe, was also an admirer and appreciated what Simmonds brought to the team on and off the ice:

"[Simmonds was] just a competitor. One of the toughest guys I've ever coached. [He] was a good guy to have around, good energy about him. Going back, I thought it was a shame his first year with us here was played at a time when there was no fans in the building. But he had a terrific career, and obviously his best years in Philadelphia so fitting that he gets to retire as a Flyer."

Simmonds' career came to an end with 263 goals - 102 on the power play - and 526 points in 1,037 games across 15 seasons. He enjoyed a successful stretch between 2011-12 and 2017-18 where he scored 187 goals and 351 points in 522 games with 694 PIMs and 995 hits, which included 2 seasons with 30+ goals and another 3 seasons with 28+ tallies.

He was one of the better power forwards during his time and will be forever remembered for his tenacity, aggressiveness, and knack for scoring huge power play goals.

POLL
March 19   |   359 answers
Maple Leafs react to Wayne Simmonds' retirement announcement

Which one of Wayne Simmonds' career stats stands out the most?

His 102 PPGs and 263 total goals11532 %
His 1,313 PIMs6016.7 %
His 1,913 hits12935.9 %
His 5 seasons of 28+ goals5515.3 %
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