Former Leaf Wayne Simmonds officially announces retirement, will sign 1-day contract with the Flyers

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Hobson
22 days ago
15 years, 1037 games, 526 points and a ton of fights later, former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Wayne Simmonds’ playing days are officially over.
After not receiving a contract from the Toronto Maple Leafs – or any team – this past off-season after his two-year deal expired, the 35-year-old’s playing days were in jeopardy. His retirement was hinted at after a conversation with Joshua Clipperton of the Canadian Press back in late January, but he was quick to denounce the report himself.
Today, it’s being officially reported that Simmonds will sign a one-day contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, the team he spent parts of eight seasons and the majority of his career with.
It’s unfortunate that the 15-year veteran’s playing days ended without hoisting the ultimate prize in hockey, especially during his three years with his hometown team, Toronto. But Simmonds enjoyed his time being back home in the GTA. “I’m still grateful to the organization for allowing me to put on the Maple Leaf. That’s an iconic jersey. It’s something that I’ll never forget.” – Simmonds said to Clipperton.
Drafted 61st overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2007 NHL Draft, Simmonds played just three seasons in California before moving to the Flyers, where he was once regarded as one of the best power forwards in the league. His days in Philadelphia with the Flyers were some of the best, where he spent eight seasons dawning the orange and black, playing 584 games, scoring over 200 goals and 378 points – Simmonds was just as big of a fan favourite in Philadelphia as he was in Toronto.
After his time with the Flyers ended at the 2019 trade deadline, he spent parts of two seasons with the Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres, where he skated in 85 games, scoring nine goals and 19 points for 28 points.
When he arrived in Toronto ahead of the shortened 2020-21 season (Canadian division), Simmonds brought a lot of excitement to the city. Not only were the Maple Leafs getting a hometown kid, but they were also getting a power play specialist, a physical presence, and most importantly, a great teammate.
It’s no secret that his play in Toronto didn’t replicate his days in Philadelphia or from the previous season to when he signed with the Maple Leafs. He suffered a broken wrist within the first handful of games to start his tenure with his new team, and after missing a significant amount of time, it felt like it affected him once he returned. But the Scarborough native had some memorable moments while wearing the blue and white, including his first goal with Toronto, his big hits, fights, and, of course, when he was honoured for his 1000th career NHL game in early 2022.
Over his three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he skated in just 128 games, scoring 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points, along with nine playoff games in the 2021 and 2022 playoffs, where he recorded a single assist.
(Stats from hockey-reference.com)

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