The Philadelphia Flyers will be without forward Wayne Simmonds for their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. Flyers GM Paul Holmgrem has confirmed that Simmonds does have a concussion and it is also being reported that he could be out for an extended period of time. The forward took an elbow to the face from Washing Capital’s defenseman John Erskine during the Flyers 3-2 loss to the Caps this past Friday. Simmonds left the game and also did not play in the Flyers tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. Erskine didn’t receive a penalty on the play but was suspended 3 games for the incident.
Wayne Simmonds has been a key asset for the Flyers and has propelled the team significantly. Before his injury, Simmonds was tied for the team lead in scoring with 5 points. He also had 20 penalty minutes and was one of the team’s leaders in shots on goal. The gritty forward regularly spends time on the first power-play unit where he is never afraid to drive to the net and establish a big body presence. When Scott Hartnell went down with injury earlier this year, Simmonds was bumped up to the top line to play alongside Claude Giroux.
Simmonds exploded in his first year with the Philadelphia Flyers last season as he put up 28 goals and 49 points. His heart and soul play style made him an immediate fan favourite in Philadelphia. His 11 power-play markers last year were second overall on the team and his 114 penalty minutes were good for third overall on this pesky team. Before arriving to the Flyers, the most goals the 24 year old had posted at the NHL level was 16 in 2009-2010 with the Los Angeles Kings.
The Flyers forward was part of a blockbuster trade during the 2011 off-season in which the Philadelphia Flyers traded captain Mike Richards and forward Rob Bordson to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Simmonds, center Brayden Schenn and a second-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft. Mike Richards went on to win a Stanley cup this past season with the Kings while Simmonds had the best season of his career with the Flyers.