Toronto Maple Leafs rumour: Wayne Simmonds a potential trade target

Wayne Simmonds #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the New York Rangers. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Wayne Simmonds #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the New York Rangers. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

With word that the Philadelphia Flyers could look to trade Wayne Simmonds, the Toronto Maple Leafs would be wise to put in an offer.

The last thing the Toronto Maple Leafs probably need is a winger, but the chance to acquire Wayne Simmonds would be worth it for multiple reasons.

Obviously, the traditional hockey minds like the physicality he brings and have been obsessing about the Leafs “lack of toughness”, even though it wasn’t a big deal until recently. This is not the reason why Toronto should consider trading for Simmonds though, because he brings more to the table.

When it comes to adding toughness to a team, one player won’t be enough to change the mindset of a team that is built top to bottom with skilled players. Having Simmonds brings a different mix and some necessary experience near the bottom of the lineup, but there’s questions regarding if he fits the Leafs’ lineup and if Toronto is a desired destination, since he has a modified no-trade clause.

The Leafs aren’t in desperate need for a right winger which is the position Simmonds plays right now, but maybe this is where Mike Babcock needs to consider moving someone to their off-wing. Even then, it would be tough to see how the Leafs make this work, unless they make another deal which takes a winger off the current roster.

Rory Boylen wrote for Sportsnet a list of potential trade destinations for Simmonds and he listed the Leafs as one of the teams. At the same time, many are wondering why Toronto would be linked to them, considering what their biggest need is at this point.

More from Toronto Maple Leafs

A priority for this team is to acquire a right-handed shot defenceman; players they may want to trade for include Alex Pietrangelo, Colton Parayko, or Brandon Montour. Now if the Leafs are able to acquire a defenceman, what they give up could open up the possibility to bring in Simmonds.

The issue the Flyers are going to have is getting appropriate value out of Simmonds and deciding when it will be the right time to pull the trigger.

If they do it too early and don’t get as much as they would have hoped, it could come back to bite them. At the same time, if they wait too long and he gets injured (knock on wood) then they would have missed out on a great opportunity to obtain assets.

In terms of what a team like the Leafs would have to give up in a potential deal for Simmonds? It is hard to say, but there could be some comparables to look at. At last year’s trade deadline the San José Sharks paid a conditional first, conditional fourth and Daniel O’Regan for Evander Kane.

There are similarities between Kane and Simmonds, but the Sharks got a player who filled a much-needed hole in their top-six while a team like the Leafs might not view Simmonds in the same way. Right now the Flyers are playing him lower in their lineup, so that would take away the value they get for something like this.

Since being acquired by the Flyers back in 2011, the Scarborough Ont., native has scored 25 or more goals in five of the past seven seasons (including the lockout-shortened season). In his career with the Flyers, Simmonds is a 50.1 CF% positive possession player and in 30 postseason games, he has five goals and 10 assists for 15 points.

He’s not known as a top line scorer but can be used in multiple situations, because he’s not a conventional one-dimensional winger. Many also know that he doesn’t mind dropping the gloves, which will give the older generation some peace of mind.

If the Leafs are serious about adding a forward ahead of the deadline and aren’t interested in calling somebody up from the Toronto Marlies, then Simmonds would be the ideal target.

As mentioned above, he shouldn’t be the only trade they should consider and hopefully this team gets the boost it deserves this time around.

Next. Podcast - Looking at the Pietrangelo rumours. dark

What do you think about the idea of trading for Simmonds? Is he the type of player the Leafs need, or is he not worth trading for? Let us know in the comments below.