Elliotte Friedman reports that the Maple Leafs have let other teams know that Wayne Simmonds is available.
With season-opening rosters finalized tomorrow afternoon, TOR sent email making it known 1,019-game vet Wayne Simmonds is available. Return is not as important as "doing right by the player." Simmonds has said he feels good and very much wants to play. Hopefully, there's a path.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 9, 2022
This is a case of a team who values the man and the player and everything Simmonds means to hockey wanting to help him play every minute he can in the NHL. Clearly, with the success of the offseason acquisitions and the development of more than one prospect into an NHL-ready or nearly-so player, Simmonds doesn’t fit on the Leafs the way he seemed to before preseason.
The Maple Leafs signed him as a UFA in 2020 to a one-year deal for $1.5 million. They re-signed him in 2021 to a two-year deal for $900,000 per season. Last season was, by some measures, his best in some time. But the 34 year old former power-play star is just not able to bring enough in a depth role on the Leafs.
If they don’t move him this afternoon, it’s clear he will be on waivers at 2 pm today. Not the way his career should end, not with what he has brought to the game, to Scarborough and to Canadian hockey.