Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig

Apparently Wayne Simmonds wants to be a Leaf

It seems like every year when he was in Philadeplhia, there was always some kind of a rumour about Wayne Simmonds coming to the Leafs, whether it’s actual trade rumours or just Leafs fans dreaming big. Well, now the pending UFA wants to come to Toronto.

At the very least, it seems like he might want to sign a below market value deal to make it happen. That’s good, because right now, he’s projected to get 3 years with a $3.474 million, according to Evolving Hockey’s contract projections. That’s not going to be a good deal when you look at his closest comparables to his last three seasons.

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via Evolving Wild

If you look at his comparables with 85% or more accuracy, that gives four different players to look at. After these specific season ranges, Stafford and Kotalik were done playing in the league, while Bourque and Brodziak signed contracts worth an average of 1 year and $775,000. If the Leafs could get him on that kind of a contract, he’d be a great low risk signing.

But, if he asks more towards his three year, $3+ million contract projection, you need to be careful handing out term and money to a 32 year old. And a quick look at his recent play, it’s not worth it.

When you look at his RAPM stats, the only thing he’s consistently driven over the last three years is shot attempts and scoring chances on the power play. So, I guess he’d be a good net front presence on PP2.

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In fact, you’d have to go back to 2015-16 to find a single season where he actually drove play at an actually decent level. He was solid defensively last season, but that was about it. Since then, his reputation has coasted on his power play success. His offense has also dried up these past two seasons, as he’s had 30 and 25 points in his last two seasons, with 17 and 8 goals as a part of that.

The Wayne Simmonds that Leafs fans have been dreaming of having for years is not the Wayne Simmonds currently playing in the NHL, and while it wouldn’t be the worst if he was on a league minimum ranged contract for a year like Jason Spezza, I think there are better options. While he does bring intangibles to the table, I think the Tampa Bay Lightning are proof that you can find players like that that are still positive contributors for them (ie. Blake Coleman, Patrick Maroon, Alex Killorn, Yanni Gourde), something that Wayne Simmonds probably wouldn’t be at this point in his career.