McKenzie on Simmonds: ‘There’s going to be tons of interest’

The Flyers haven’t yet made a decision on Wayne Simmonds’ future with the club, but teams are already calling Chuck Fletcher on the veteran winger.

Bob McKenzie had a Wednesday evening TV hit on NBCSN, and was asked about the possibility of Simmonds being dealt before the February 25 trade deadline.

“I think it’s probably more likely than not that Wayne Simmonds gets traded, but it’s not an absolutely slam dunk and the door is still open for Philadelphia to try and sign him,” said McKenzie. “Listen, things have not gone well for the Philadelphia Flyers. It’s an absolute disaster, is what it is, versus what they thought they were going to be this year.

“The problem the Flyers may run into is that Wayne Simmonds is coming up on free agency. He’s got a unique skill-set. He’s currently making $5 million in terms of the cash that he receives from the Flyers, even though he’s on a club-friendly $3.9 million AAV contract.

“The expectation is if he goes to market he’s going to get at least five years, maybe more, and perhaps $6 million a year or more. And again, it could be a long term for less AAV, or it could be a shorter term for higher AAV. But in any case, it might be difficult for the Flyers to get in on that type of contract.

“What they do know is there’s going to be tons of interest. Teams are calling Chuck Fletcher, the general manager of the Flyers right now, and saying, ‘What do you want to do with Simmonds.’

“Right now the teams are being told, ‘We’ll get back to you. We haven’t made a final decision on that just yet.’

“But the expectation is there’s going to be a lot of teams that call because there’s not many guys that can stand in front of the net on a power play like Wayne Simmonds that have the speed and the character and the tenacity and the size and strength and all of those things that go together with the skill-set that he’s got where he could be very much in demand.

“And the Philadelphia Flyers, I would suspect, are going to be busy between now and the deadline. They may be trading players for future considerations - draft picks and young players. They may be trading future considerations for more experienced players. It’s all about who’s under contract, how long it’s going to be.

“So we’ll see where the Simmonds thing goes. He’s going to be very much in demand.”

Simmonds is in the final season of a six-year, $23.85 million contract, which carries a cap hit of $3.975 million and also contains a modified no-trade clause, through which he can nix 12 locales.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly