Czerwonka: The Wayne Train is coming back to Philly

Wayne Simmonds graphic. - Multimedia Editor / Drew Peltzman

Fifteen total seasons in the NHL, and Wayne Simmonds has officially retired from the game. 

But, there’s no better way to go out than to end it on the team you loved, spent, and played the most on. The forward from Ontario, Canada, signed a one-day contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. This contract will come into effect on April 13, during a home game against the New Jersey Devils. The Flyers will honor Simmonds at the Wells Fargo Center the day before.

Drafted in the second round in 2007 to the LA Kings, Simmonds would be in the NHL just a year later in the 2008-09 season. During that season, he played all 82 games for the Kings and had a total of 23 points. 

However, it wouldn’t be until the 2011-2012 season that Simmonds would be traded to Philadelphia along with Brayden Schenn, as the Flyers sent Mike Richards to LA. 

The “Wayne Train” would spend the next eight seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, becoming one of the most beloved Flyers in that period.

Out of his 1,037 total games, 584 of them were for the team in the orange and black. In that period, he notched 203 goals and 175 assists for the Flyers, as well as two 60-point seasons and a handful of 40 and 50-point seasons. In addition to all that, he was named as the MVP in the 2017 NHL All-Star game.

But Simmonds wasn’t just known for his point production, as he could also fight pretty well. The two-way forward had a total of 784 minutes spent in the box, as well as 45 fights playing for the city of Brotherly Love. 

Off the ice, Simmonds had a huge impact and was able to give back to tons of families and kids in need, especially ones who were passionate about hockey.

He was an honorary member of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey and Education Foundation, which is an organization that pushes not only learning the game of hockey but also knowledge for academic success. His Road Hockey Warriors is a ball hockey tournament that is held every year in Simmonds’ hometown of Scarborough, in which money is raised to go to kids in need of hockey equipment.

Being involved in these organizations outside of the NHL is truly special to Simmonds. As he was growing up, hockey wasn’t the main priority in the family because the game he loved was unaffordable. In 2019, Wayne Simmonds was named the winner of the Mark Messier Leadership Award.

Although throughout his career, Simmonds did sustain a decent amount of injuries that would come into effect into the tail end of his career. With those injuries coming into play, and the family life starting up, Simmonds thought this would be the ideal time to call it quits.

His time as a Flyer will always be remembered and loved. Simmonds embodied what it meant to be not just a Flyer, but a Philadelphia athlete, from his on-ice production of scoring goals and dropping the gloves, to the off-ice side and giving back to the communities. 

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