It appears as though Wayne Simmonds is ready to play hockey again. After suffering a concussion in a recent game against the Washington Capitals, the Philadelphia Flyers power forward should be able to return to action this weekend.
The shoot out loss, in what was a winnable matchup against the Florida Panthers on Thursday, represented exactly the type of close contest that Simmonds’ on-ice presence would have affected. One of the most impressive points in this young right winger’s game is his ability to throw (sometimes literally) numerous opponents off balance.
Earlier this season Simmonds was moved to Peter Laviolette’s top line. That promotion didn’t result solely because of team injuries, but was mostly tied to the consistency of his effort. The 24-year-old has been the best orange addition through the Mike Richards‘ trade, which shouldn’t be news to Brayden Schenn.
“Simmer” seems likely to have a lengthy National Hockey League career in front of him for a number of reasons.
While intimidation is highlighted on his digital resume, this guy has equally impressive offensive skills. He also doesn’t play reckless hockey and possesses sharp ice vision. That skill set should allow him to thrive under current league rules. Twenty-plus goals, 100+ effective penalty minutes and an ice time average in the mid- to upper-teen range per season feels like realistic projections.
With a return engagement against the Carolina Hurricanes set for Saturday, the sight of number 17 patrolling the Wells Fargo Center ice would certainly be welcomed by every faithful member of the “Bullies” contingent.
Due to a slow start this season, Philadelphia needs to earn as many points as it can. Simmonds’ return to the lineup would increase the chances of a victory over a Hurricanes’ squad that has only posted one more team point (10) than the Flyers have.