It wasn’t that surprising of a statement from the coach though. After all, Simmonds saw his goals, assists and penalty minutes decline from the year prior.
Murray went on to say this would be a crucial summer in Simmonds’ development – one in which he would need to analyze his self and his game.
Even so, those weren’t cryptic statements about a winger needing to be traded. He was simply describing part of the natural evolution some players need to go though.
Coupled with the fact that Simmonds seemed to find his game in the playoffs, some people were slightly caught off guard when he was included in the trade for Mike Richards. Others saw it as simply moving value to get value.
By all accounts, Simmonds was well liked by his teammates – especially those that sat around him in the locker room – i.e. Brad Richardson, Kyle Clifford, etc.
Stoll – “He’s going to be a very good player, he is a very good player. It’s tough. You have to give up some good players to get a guy like Mike Richards. And we did that. It sucks for a guy like Wayne, and to lose him. But, we have to look forward and look at the team we have now. I wish him all the best in Philly. He’s a great guy, he was roommate on the road. We had some good times together and some good talks. He’s a good kid. He’ll figure it out in Philly and he’s going to be a well liked player there, for sure.”
Martinez – “As a younger guy (on the team), I hung out with him a lot. So, I was disappointed to see him go. He’s a good kid and he’s one of our buddies. But, you have to think about when you get a great addition like Mike Richards you’re going to have to give up something really great too. Wayne’s a good kid, good buddy and obviously a really good player.”
Simmonds, Richards, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, etc. It’s a story that won’t die down anytime soon – especially considering the Flyers and Kings will meet up in the fourth game of the season.
To read Murray’s full comments on Simmonds from his season-ending exit interview, click here.
Exclusive interview with Colin Fraser – talking Ryan Smyth trade, injury, etc.