After helping the Philadelphia Flyers defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night in comeback fashion at Lincoln Financial Field, veteran winger Wayne Simmonds will be playing elsewhere to finish out this season.
According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, the Flyers traded Simmonds to the Nashville Predators in exchange for 24-year-old Ryan Hartman and a 2020 fourth-round draft pick on Monday. However, it can become a third-round pick if Nashville wins one playoff round.
It came down to the wire as the deal was completed at 2:57 p.m. ET, just three minutes before the league’s official deadline.
LeBrun initially reported in January about the Predators’ interest in the 30-year-old Simmonds. Earlier on Monday, John Shannon of Sportsnet reported that the Flyers were looking for a first-round pick and a prospect in exchange for Simmonds.
But that might’ve been too high of a price tag for many teams as the Winnipeg Jets traded their valuable first-round pick and young left winger Brandon Lemieux in exchange for second-line center Kevin Hayes from the New York Rangers.
Simmonds, who is in the final year of his deal, has 16 goals and 11 assists for 27 points in 62 games for Philadelphia. Over his eight-year career with the Flyers, the Scarborough, Ontario native had 187 goals and 164 assists for 351 points.
His best season in Philly came in 2015-16, which was the same year Simmonds made the All-Star team. In that season alone, the 6-foot-2 winger scored a career-high 32 goals and dished out 28 assists for 60 points.
With all that being said, Simmonds now heads to a Predators team that is currently in fourth place in the Western Conference with 77 points, though they are nipping at the heels of the third-place Jets.
In regards to the Flyers, they are getting a young right winger who could essentially replace Simmonds. This season with the Predators, Hartman has 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points in 64 games. He also has a plus-7 rating, playing 13:26 minutes per game.
Unlike Simmonds, who will be an unrestricted free agent, the former first-round pick will be a restricted free agent in the summer. This means the Flyers can match any contract offer that another team sends Hartman’s way.
Even though Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher could not strike a huge deal for Simmonds, they did get something of value in return. It shall be interesting to see how the Flyers maneuver through the rest of the season and what they do in another pivotal offseason.