Penguins Free Agent Rumor: Pens, Wayne Simmonds Could Fit
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Penguins Free Agent Rumor: Pens, Wayne Simmonds Could Fit

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The Pittsburgh Penguins cleared just over $3 million of salary cap space Saturday night by dealing defenseman Olli Maatta to Chicago for versatile rookie forward Dominik Kahun and a fifth-round pick. The move upped the Penguins available salary cap space to approximately $6.375 million and will afford them at least some ability to add new blood via the free agent market. And information from a league source to Pittsburgh Hockey Now makes more sense.

Beginning June 23 at 12:01 a.m. teams can begin to speak with free agents. As the Penguins prepare their priorities and debate their course of action, you may be interested to know one name which is being linked to the team.

Scuttle from a league source is the Pittsburgh Penguins could enter the fray for free agent winger Wayne Simmonds. Unprompted, Saturday second-hand sources tied the long-time Philadelphia Flyer winger and the Penguins. The source posited the Penguins want more snarl among their forward crew and there is belief Simmonds will get a call from the team.

Simmonds, 30, suffered a steep drop in production over the past two seasons. Beset by lower and upper body injuries, Simmonds was a shell of himself in the Flyers-Penguins Round One playoff battle in 2018. This season, Simmonds tallied only 30 points split between Philadelphia and Nashville. He set a full-season career low with 17 goals including just one marker with Nashville in 17 games.

He was again hindered by a lower body injury in Round One this season, too.

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Simmonds was recently one of the premier power forwards in the NHL. He can be a force in front of the net, on the walls and one of the Philadelphia Flyers to which even Penguins fans gave begrudging respect for playing a hard, clean game (at least until he belted Brian Dumoulin with a high hit in the Stadium Series game on Feb. 23).

Simmonds completed a six-year, $23.85 million deal and will turn 31 before next season.

While the Penguins have added girth to their blue line with Jack Johnson and Erik Gudbranson, their wingers are generally lighter fare. Only Patric Hornqvist and Zach Aston-Reese are physical wingers. Saturday, they added the skilled Kahun who is 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds.

For the uninitiated, “league sources” means the sources are neither with the Penguins or Simmonds camp but are colleagues to either of those parties. So, don’t buy a Simmonds jersey just yet but it is interesting to note that insiders are talking about the possibility. And given the Penguins desire to be harder to play against, a big body like Simmonds could be a quick improvement for the Penguins. Simmonds or a player like him would provide the Penguins with a third physical forward and balance to their top-nine, or one very large, thunderous third line.

Simmonds will likely receive a contract similar to his nearly $4 million annual value. He could seek a longer term for a higher guaranteed amount or a short term deal in a bet on himself to rebound to his typical 25-goal production level.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now owner, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. PensPatty

    June 16, 2019 at 11:10 am

    No no nooooooo….bad idea….

  2. Hatrick Pornqvist

    June 16, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Without all the injuries maybe. But yikes that would be a gamble. I’d be ok with 1-2 years at $3M max but I doubt we’d get him for that as he would be looking for one more nice contract. And I’d still be pretty nervous about it. I do like that it suggests, along with the Kahun deal, that both speed and sandpaper are on JR’s list.

  3. Frank

    June 16, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Please . . . please . . .no more 30-somethings in the process of breaking down with the delusional theory that it makes the team a cup contender. They were dismissed with incredible ease in 4 games by relying on 30 something breaking down players last season. Are you telling me that essentially this same group . . . now one year older . .. is going to get better by adding another one to it? Ugh!
    I would rather have a re-tooling team that is a playoff contender and might make noise in the playoffs that is building toward a Cup in two years. Unless that process happens (the Brassard deal and the Matta deal are good starts) the team is going to collapse on itself when Crosby, Malkin, Hornquist, Kessel, Letang all wake up pushing 35 and a shell of who they were. At least 3 of those 5 should not be Penguins within the next two years, if they are . . . the long long hockey season will seem twice that long watching a team trying to compete with second tier AHL players.

    • Terrence

      June 16, 2019 at 12:18 pm

      wow i hope this isnt true simmons is washed up and Dan if you think this is a good idea then you’re clueless what a horrible signing this would be

      • Dan Kingerski

        June 17, 2019 at 7:19 am

        Please, by all means, express your displeasure with a potential move by insulting me. As a sportswriter, I deserve it from all fans who can’t properly express an opinion.

  4. Edgar

    June 16, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Very hard to navigate guys on bad teams. Especially bad teams with goalie issues. I’d like to hear more from someone who has watched the Flyers a lot in the past few years. The interesting item that pops out to me is Simmonds PDO (5v5) is extremely, extremely low the past 3 years. Which may have affected his GF% greatly. Tough to tell, but it’s possible the Flyers net issue affected him poorly and he could possibly bounce back. He’s only 1 year removed from a 24 goal season, and maybe they want him to fit in Kessel’s spot on the PP? While adding some toughness as well?

    • Anthony M Albensi

      June 16, 2019 at 9:54 pm

      Flyer fan here. Just my opinion, but Simmonds has always been dependable on offense, especially if he can sit in front of the other teams goalie. He isnt afraid to do the dirty work like some of the guys you got (Crosby) and he cleans up rebounds. He doesnt shoot the puck from a distance too much, and his fighting makes him unreliable sometimes, but he can turn a game around just by landing some good blows on a guy much bigger than him. Makes the crowd go nuts. I’d take him in a heartbeat.

  5. Dean

    June 16, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks everyone for the rational response to that idea.

    Hopefully, we have seen move one of a chess match. Dump $3M+ in replace for speed.

    Move 2 is move JJ. Maybe give the 5th rounder we just got. Dump $3.25M

    Move 3 get Haydn Fluery (set-up left side of D for years)

  6. Alan Smith

    June 16, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Pens just watched the two biggest teams play in the Cup. Sorry but goon hockey is back following the Pens open style championship. Size matters more then skill and Sid and the midgets don’t fit anymore.
    Add to that the games are boring and uninteresting. Let the NFL be the violent league. Hopefully the Pens will be a comeback next year and the Goon League doesn’t take over!

  7. Cal

    June 16, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    I think Simmons would flourish on a one year deal. It depends of course on the amount of $$$. If he wants a 1 year on a cheapie go for it!

  8. Matt Luda

    June 17, 2019 at 1:48 am

    This team doesn’t need an old, broken-down winger whose best days are in the rear-view mirror. Chaisson would be helluva lot younger and cheaper. His size (6-4, 208) and strength would be a good fit for Guentzel and Crosby on the first line. He did quite well with McDavid last season.

    • Wayne Burnside

      June 17, 2019 at 2:02 pm

      Is Chaisson available ?

  9. Matt Luda

    June 17, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Chaisson is a UFA. The Oilers’ top priority is defense this off-season, so they won’t overpay to retain him.

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