Chuck Fletcher continues to weigh the potential trade haul Wayne Simmonds might net him, compared with the benefit of re-signing the winger.
Darren Dreger had a Wednesday evening TV hit on NBCSN during the first intermission of the Flyers-Bruins affair.
The Insider was asked what type of trade ask the Flyers would have for Simmonds, a pending unrestricted free agent.
“It’ll be multiple pieces,” indicated Dreger. “But in fairness, Chuck Fletcher and the Philadelphia Flyers haven’t gotten to a point yet where they’re committed to trading Wayne Simmonds. The idea of extending his contract, keeping him as part of the big developing culture of the Philadelphia Flyers, is there.
“But as Bouch as others have identified through watching one period here tonight, team defense is an area of concern for the Philadelphia Flyers. Could they add a couple of forwards - perhaps. Could they bolster their blueline - perhaps. Well, how do you do that. You do that by at least having a willingness to trade good pieces.
“Chuck Fletcher is in a position where he doesn’t have a choice. He’s taking calls. He’s listening to basically all of the interest in players - it doesn’t matter if it’s Wayne Simmonds, who’s on an expiring deal, or a Shayne Gostisbehere, as a longshot type of scenario. He has to listen.
“But he’s still at least somewhat interested in signing Wayne Simmonds because Simmonds is a type of player when he goes elsewhere, you’re looking for a Wayne Simmonds. He’s that important a piece.”
Simmonds is in the final season of a six-year, $23.85 million contract, which carries a modified no-trade clause through which the veteran winger has a 12-team no-trade list.
As the conversation continued, Dreger was asked how aggressive the Bruins - the Flyers’ opponent on the night - might be in pursuing Simmonds.
“They’re going to be aggressive in adding a piece,” noted Dreger. “Be it a center or somebody on the right side. I don’t think that they love the idea of adding an expiring contract or a rental player, which Wayne Simmonds is. Now, that’s not to say that they can’t make a deal and quickly sign Wayne Simmonds to avoid the awkwardness of that. But I look at Boston, absolutely, being in play.
“The Tampa Bay Lightning, believe it or not - as deep as the Lightning are, again, Simmonds provides an element that teams don’t have, Stanley Cup contending teams, a lot of them, don’t have. And maybe it’s the counter to Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals.
“I’d look at the Toronto Maple Leafs as being a contender for Simmonds as well, in the East.
“And if you want to kick it over into the West, you do have to look at Winnipeg, Nashville, and of course the Vegas Golden Knights as the contenders there.”
The segment concluded by wondering where teams that aren’t able to land Simmonds might look on the trade market.
“Micheal Ferland from the Carolina Hurricanes,” replied Dreger. “And again, you’re talking about a real popular guy. The Carolina Hurricanes would like to keep Mike Ferland. Hey, they’re still in the playoff mix in the Eastern Conference. This guy just destroys bodies out there. That’s what he does. He can play in your top-six, he can provide some offense.
“So they want to exhaust the possibility of keeping Mike Ferland and signing him to the extension. And there’s a remote possibility they keep him beyond the trade deadline, even without a contract extension. That seems far-fetched because of where the Carolina Hurricanes are at.
“But again, you’re talking about Vegas, Winnipeg, Nashville - all the teams we just talked about with interest in Wayne Simmonds will definitely kick tires on Ferland as well.”
Ferland is in the second season of a two-year, $3.5 million contract, and he’ll be eligible to become a UFA this summer.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly