December 2, 2017 | 10:15pm ET
COULD THE FLYERS LOOK TO TRADE SIMMONDS?
Wayne Simmonds, right wing
The Philadelphia Flyers have not won in 10 straight games following today’s 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins and questions continue to rise over what happens next for this franchise.
Fans are calling for head coach Dave Hakstol’s head, while speculation is starting to arise over possible trades GM Ron Hextall could or should make in the coming weeks.
If the Flyers cannot turn their season around and decide to focus on retooling for next season, they only have two players on the roster set to become unrestricted free agents next summer, forward Valtteri Filppula and defenseman Brandon Manning, whom they could sell for draft picks and/or prospects.
Filppula has a limited no-trade clause where he can list 16 teams he’d accept a trade to and comes with a $5 million salary cap hit.
But Filppula and Manning aren’t the only players on Philadelphia who will draw attention.
During Saturday night’s “Headlines” segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Nick Kypreos reported forward Wayne Simmonds could start to pop up in trade speculation later this season.
Simmonds, 29, has one-year left on his contract after this season, comes with a $3.975 million salary cap hit, and owns a 12-team no-trade clause.
Kypreos pointed out he doesn’t believe the Flyers are actively shopping him right now, “but with each loss that comes, tougher decisions come for Ron Hextall.”
Citing another team’s executive, Kypreos mentioned Simmonds is the Flyers’ most valuable asset and trading him with one-year remaining on his contract would certainly maximize his return.
Simmonds will see his salary climb significantly on his next contract, which could price him out of Philadelphia, according to Kypreos, and may be one of the reasons for moving him.
As of now, there is indication the Flyers are willing to go down that road, but teams will continue to knock on Hextall’s door and inquire about Simmonds’ availability, and if the Flyers can’t climb back into the playoff race in the coming weeks, the team may seriously consider the potential of dealing him in the New Year.
In 25 games with the Flyers so far this season, Simmonds has registered seven goals and seven assists for 14 points, and 25 penalty minutes.