It’s been a whirlwind 72 hours since the Flyers’ 4-3 OT win over the Penguins at the Linc. The uncertainty surrounding Wayne Simmonds’ status with the organization ahead of Monday’s trade deadline was palpable. Ultimately, Simmonds was traded in a last-minute deal that reunites him with former head coach Peter Laviolette in Nashville. With the team poised for a stretch run of 20 games – 7 points behind both Carolina and Pittsburgh, and one behind Buffalo – I wanted to get some insight from one of the team’s young stars: Travis Konecny.
Travis Konecny said of the recently-departed Wayne Simmonds:
“First of all, losing Simmie… it’s tough to see a guy like that go. He’s been a great teammate to everyone here and a big part of the organization and our leadership group.”
I asked if the void left by Simmonds’ departure could be an opportunity for him to step up as a leader on the team:
“I’m not saying I’m gonna step in and be a leader in that way, ya know, I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help the team… Not necessarily lead, but kinda play my role that way. If it’s my night to get the guys going, and use my speed and my abilities to lead, then I’ll do that, but I’m not looking at it like it’s an opportunity for me. It’s upsetting to lose Simmie, but coming back for us, Hartsy’s a good addition to our team.”
On whether the team is approaching the next few games with an increased sense of urgency because of where they are in the standings:
“It’s another game. There’s definitely more at stake in these games at this time of year, cause you can’t afford to lose the points, but I don’t think anyone’s coming into this game like it’s any different from any other game. It’s hard to explain, but I haven’t overthought this game one bit. I just know I gotta do my job and that’s all I can control.”