Rumors surface about Maple Leafs interest in Wayne Simmonds

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As free agency approaches, one thing can be counted on: Pierre LeBrun has rumors of Wayne Simmonds. It’s not even a meme anymore, it’s tradition now.

And for the Habs fans this morning:

No one pays Wayne Simmonds $ 5 million or signs him to play in the top six. He had a chance and he didn’t make enough hay in this sun to get that kind of deal again.

For boxcar fans, his 2019-2020 season with two non-qualifying teams was: 8G, 17A for 25 points in 68 games played.

For model fans, take a look at this:

This is interesting, in that both of these players have good points and weaker areas and they rock each other five-on-five to something like a replacement level player. However, Spezza can shoot. It’s what keeps him in a team at his age, and the rest of his impacts being ordinary.

Now here’s where it gets more confusing. In 2018-19, Spezza in Dallas was horrible, and Simmonds in Nashville and Philadelphia had some good defensive impacts and nothing else. He had 30 points that year, and why someone thought he should get paid $ 5 million is beyond me, but New Jersey got a fifth-round pick against Buffalo on the deadline. It’s hockey, I guess.

On a contract Spezza Special, would Simmonds bring anything to the Leafs now that he’s 32? It is hardly old. But one of his greatest strengths as a player in his prime was speed. He’s got that badass reputation, but he’s more of a agitator – more Nazem Kardri than Kyle Clifford. And once upon a time, he also had Kadri’s offensive touch and power play ability. Those glory days are over, as they are for Spezza. This is not an opportunity for Joe Pavelski here.

Is there something left in the Simmonds tank but some fame and a desire to keep playing?

Maybe, but for a team desperate for defensive skills, it seems like an odd choice.

Small update:



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