Friedman on Simmonds, Flyers, deadline day

With the deadline day in the books, more fact from fiction may be parsed when it comes to trades that didn’t happen.

The latest 31 Thoughts: The Podcast episode with Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek was recorded Wednesday and released Thursday.

A listener wanted to know what Wayne Simmonds might get this summer on the open market as a UFA, and where he might go.

“Does this all depend on playoff performance?” wondered Marek.

“I think it does depend a lot on playoff performance,” said Friedman. “I think this year has really hurt him. I’ve been told that he’s really disappointed he’s not staying as a member of the Flyers. He loved being a Flyer. If you watched that video of them giving him the helmet after that game on Saturday night… Those guys, they love him. And he loved being a Flyer.”

“I want to clear up a couple of things,” indicated Friedman. “First of all on Winnipeg. I had heard, like everybody else, that Winnipeg thought they had a deal about 20 minutes before the deadline, and it fell apart. I don’t think that’s true now. The more I’ve had a chance to think about it, I don’t think that’s correct.

“I do think in the days leading up to the deadline, Winnipeg was looking hard at Simmonds. I think there was interest. I believe Simmonds was preparing to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Jets, but a couple of things happened. No. 1, they made the choice to go with Hayes, which took their first-round pick out of play. And No. 2, Morrissey got hurt. And once that happened, they switched to their defensemen and obviously they made the move with Hayes, and he was out.

“I think Calgary looked at him, but I don’t think it was ever close. There have been some rumors out there that he blocked a deal to Calgary. I don’t think that ever happened. I don’t think it ever got to that point.

“But I think in Philly’s case, they were kind of hoping Winnipeg was going to be there. That deal kind of fell apart because the Jets chose to look elsewhere and needed to look elsewhere. Someone told me after the fact that an hour-and-a-half before that Nashville deal got announced, that he heard the Predators had that deal on the table. Hartman and he said a second at the time, but it turned out to be a conditional fourth.

“So I think the Flyers on the day of the deadline knew that deal was in their back pocket.”

Simmonds is in the final season of his six-year, $23.85 million contract.

As Friedman alluded toward the end there, Simmonds was dealt to the Predators for Ryan Hartman and a conditional 2020 fourth-round draft pick. If the Predators win at least one round in this spring’s playoffs, that pick upgrades to a third-rounder.

Friedman didn’t really answer the listener’s question, but the Insider did indicate Simmonds’ fortunes may be partially tied to playoff performance. Earlier in the week, Friedman said he felt Simmonds would be rejuvenated on the playoff stage in Nashville, which would bode well for the veteran winger’s next contract.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly