With only bad news circulating around the NHL with the impending third lockout of Gary Bettman’s tenure, it was good to hear the Philadelphia Flyers thinking ahead instead of wallowing in the past and present. They did that late Wednesday night by extending breakout forward Wayne Simmonds with a shiny new six-year, $24 million contract according to TSN:
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) August 16, 2012
Simmonds—who turns 24 next week—is still under contract for one more year before the new deal kicks in, and he’ll make $2 million in 2012-2013. When the extension starts, he’ll be making just over $3.8 million per year with an approximate cap hit of $1.75 million (according to the same TSN update).
The Flyers put together one of the franchise’s best offensive seasons last season, and Simmonds’ breakout campaign helped contribute in a big way. The right winger posted career bests in goals (28), points (49), shooting percentage (14.2), power play goals (11), power play assists (5) and game-winning goals (4).
He was second on the team in power-play goals—five behind Scott Hartnell—and was a big reason why Philly was the one team you couldn’t afford to be sloppy against—they led the league by a fair margin in terms of power-play tallies. Simmonds was also second on the team with 28 goals, tied with team MVP and NHL 13 cover boy Claude Giroux.
While the main focus of GM Paul Holmgren was to improve the blue line, he made the right move by extending one of the league’s best young forwards and setting up a bright future at forward with Giroux, Simmonds and Sean Couturier.
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