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Toronto Maple Leafs sign Wayne Simmonds to one-year contract

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed Wayne Simmonds to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million, according to Sportsnet’s Anthony Stewart.

Simmonds, a native of Scarborough, Ont., will be coming home to don the blue and white. He split his time last season playing with the New Jersey Devils and the Buffalo Sabres. With New Jersey, he put up 8 goals and 24 points in 61 games.

Simmonds had his best years with the Philadelphia Flyers from the 2011-12 season up to the 2018-19 season. He put up a career-high in goals and points in 2015-16 with 32 goals and 60 points respectively.

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According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the desire to come home to Toronto was a big deciding factor for the 32-year-old.

GM Kyle Dubas made it clear on Monday that getting tougher was important for the Leafs moving forward.

“We would like to be incredibly hard to play against. It is a priority of ours,” Dubas told reporters.

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Signing Simmonds does exactly that. He will likely slot into a bottom-six role with the Leafs, tasked with bringing tenacity and toughness to the team. He has always been a physical player, not scared to throw his weight around and he’s not afraid to pick a fight if needed. That’s exactly the type of player the Leafs needed, especially with the departure of Kyle Clifford.

A veteran of 909 NHL games, Simmonds has a total of 251 goals and 499 points over a 12-year career.