Philadelphia Flyers: Wayne Simmonds played through multiple injuries

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Flyers forward revealed a long list of injuries during exit interviews, but does his down season raise questions about his future?

As Philadelphia Flyers fans, we put a lot of value on how willing a player is to sacrifice his health for the good of the team. When the playoffs end, we often hear stories of players battling through intense injuries. They sacrifice their bodies for their teammates and the chance to win the Stanley Cup. Their injuries become part of playoff legend.

Wayne Simmonds end of season injury report went a step beyond admitting he was dealing with something through the playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers winger dropped a bomb by admitting he had been playing with multiple injuries through the entire regular season.

Only a torn ligament in his thumb kept Simmonds from playing in February when he missed seven games. Simmonds put off surgery that would have had a lengthy recovery time so that he wouldn’t miss games early in the season.

As the season went on, Simmonds’ struggles were obvious as he was less effective against opponents. After scoring over 30 goals the past two seasons, the winger only managed 24 this season.

"Surgery to repair the tear was an option, but that meant missing a month to a month and a half of action.“It wasn’t something I wanted to do,” Simmonds said. “I thought I’d be able to play through it and do a decently good job. I didn’t play up to my expectations this year. It was a very frustrating year. Things didn’t go the way I wanted but if I can play, I’m going to play.” –Jordan Hall NBC Sports Philadelphia"

Simmonds will have surgery to repair his pelvic injury and expects to be fully healthy for the beginning of next season. But this season has bred rumors about his future in Philadelphia. Toward the end of the season, Simmonds, who had been a force on the Flyers top power-play unit, was moved off the power-play entirely. Despite leading the team with 11 power play goals, Simmonds was replaced by rookie Nolan Patrick down the stretch.

The Flyers general manager, Ron Hextall, was noncommittal when asked about Simmonds’ future in Philadelphia.

"“We like Wayne. We’d like to keep Wayne. We’d like to sign Wayne,” Hextall said. “Whether we can or not, I have absolutely no idea. He’s a good player. He’s a big part of our group. He wears our uniform well. Whether we can come to an agreement at some point or not, whether it be July 1 or next June 3, I don’t have those answers. I really don’t.” Dave Isaac- Courier Post"

Simmonds is more than just an energizing player for the Flyers, he has also been very involved in the hockey community, and specifically in Philadelphia as he has been an active member of the Board of Directors for the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.

The Flyers would love to have Simmonds back past the 2018-2019 season, as would the fans, but now there are questions about his ability moving forward. There is no doubt this crazy list of injuries was to blame for his struggles this season, but what can we expect next season?

Captain Claude Giroux faced the same scrutiny coming into this season after a poor 2016-2017 season. After a full offseason of recovery, Giroux was back to elite status with Sean Couturier centering his line.

Next: Philadelphia Flyers watch season end in heartbreaking fashion

Giroux’s success may bode well for Simmonds. If there is no lasting damage from playing through a pelvic injury all season, Simmonds may bounce back and earn himself a new contract. But if Hextall sees this offseason as an opportunity to make big additions to push the team forward, Simmonds may be a trade piece before the draft.