Wayne Simmonds was a Broad Street Bully playing in the modern generation. His in your face style quickly endeared him to fans and lead him to success on the ice. He played in 8 seasons for the orange and black, and over his 584 game Flyers career, amassed 203 goals, 378 points and 784 penalty minutes.
After his production dipped Simmonds end up being traded last season at the deadline for Ryan Hartman and a conditional fourth round pick. There was speculation during the offseason that as a free agent Simmonds might make a return to the club, but those hopes were dashed when Simmonds signed a one year 5 million dollar deal with the New Jersey Devils. Now for the Flyers home opener, Wayne Simmonds returns as an opponent. Let’s begin the the trip on the Wayne nostalgia train and talk about some of his most memorable moments!
Starting the Brawl
So this may cherry pick on what is Ray Emery’s greatest Flyers moment, but Wayne was the catalyst for the chaos. The Flyers were facing a 7-0 deficit, and Wayne had enough. He steamrolled Aaron Valpatti, then went after the universally hated Tom Wilson. Their exchange of blows allowed Ray Emery to turn Brayden Holtby into a speed bag. Brayden Schenn and Vinny Lecavalier (yeah I had forgotten about him too) also got involved.
Wayne Simmonds was a momentum swinging player. Ultimately it might not have mattered in that game, but for a Flyers team that dealt with a coaching change early it was a moment where they proved they would fight, literally if need be.
Scoring Any Way Possible
At his best, Simmonds was one of the top net front presence guys in the entire league. When you play from there, you put yourself into the danger zone. Wayne Simmonds nose all about that.
If you managed to catch the pun, you noticed that Wayne scored with his face. Time and time again he faced blistering shots and he stayed in the pocket. You won’t see it often, and you can see some players get gun shy after taking a Brayden Schenn shot to the face. Not Wayne though.
Shining In Big Moments
A team leader, Wayne Simmonds always came to play in big moments. Say for example April 29th 2014. Game 6 against the Rangers at home. Wayne posts a hat trick against a prime Henrik Lundqvist and blows the roof of of the Wells Fargo Center.
These are just a few of the memories that Wayne Simmonds brought to Flyers fans. There are a lot to list, and can you really go wrong in picking a great Wayne Train moment? He set the standard for hard work and determination on and off of the ice. He deserves the ovation he’s likely to receive in his return. If he manages to score, the boos will reign down, along with a rye smile from fans as well.
When it comes down to it, we just want to say, thank you Wayne Simmonds, and welcome back.
Do you have a favorite moment? Share it with us in the comments or on Twitter!