As he heads into his seventh season Philadelphia Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds is looking forward to building on his second consecutive 30-plus-goal season and at the same time mentoring the team’s group of young players back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
It’s all about the youth at the team right now. Second overall pick Nolan Patrick, Sam Morin, Robert Hagg, Phil Myers and Travis Sanheim are all looking for roster spots, and Simmonds, who is an elder statesman at 28, is seeing the game change before his eyes.
He said during the annual BioSteel Camp in Toronto: “I think I’m kind of getting up there. This year is my 10th year, right? So I see some names, I’m not just saying on our team alone, but in the whole league, game is changing a little bit.” He added: “All I can do is lead by example. I’m going to go in there and play the game the way I play and hopefully those guys will follow.”
The 2016-17 season saw the Flyers go 39-33-10, and the team finished 11th in the Eastern Conference. Also, Simmonds represented Canada at the IIHF World Championships, registering two assists in 10 games while helping the Canadians win a silver medal.
Talking of his offseason he said: “I got a chance to go to Jamaica with my fiancee, so we did that at the beginning of the summer after we came back from world championship. We just went to Montego Bay, kept it close, we didn’t want to drive too far from the airport.”
Simmonds also saw a few close teammates traded as the Flyers parted ways with goaltender Steve Mason and forward Brayden Schenn, among others.