Today’s going to be tough on a lot of people in and around the Flyers’ organization if rumors and reports are to be believed.
Wayne Simmonds has spent the past eight seasons donning the Orange and Black, serving as the personification of the Broad Street Bully mentality with the dynamic point production of a modern forward. He’s hit the 50+ point mark in half of his seasons in Philly, twice hitting 60 points. Despite having been plagued by injuries in recent years, he’s only missed fifteen total regular season games over the past six seasons.
He’s been known as a real presence in the locker room – not just a mediocre player tagged as being a “team leader” – and the roster from top-to-bottom has been adverse to discussing the mere possibility of Simmonds not being on this team after 3PM today. I pulled Travis Konecny aside after Tuesday’s beatdown from the Tampa Bay Lightning to ask whether the team had gone into that game with the added pressure to win it, knowing it could be Simmonds’ final game at Wells Fargo Center as a Flyer:
Konecny: No one’s thinking that way. That stuff’s up to the management side of things, we love Simmy in the locker room and we’re not planning for him to go anywhere. It’s just a matter of: it’s a business, so it’s nothing we can control. I think everyone just treated it like a normal game. Simmy went out there and played hard for us like he does every night.
TK’s comments weren’t different than I had expected. It’s been a long-held belief that the players have voiced their support – including a reported approach to management from the leadership core of the team – every step of the way. Captain Claude Giroux didn’t want to comment on that specific report around the Stadium Series game, but he did acknowledge the players’ support for their teammate. Giroux said of Simmonds after that 4-3 OT win, after the jump: