Speaking to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet on the draft floor immediately after selecting Jay O’Brien, Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall confirmed that he’ll try to sign Wayne Simmonds to a contract extension this summer. Simmonds is on the final season of his current deal, and is considered one of the most underpaid assets around the league. He’ll be able to demand quite a raise from the $3.975MM cap hit he currently carries.
Simmonds, 29, is coming off a relatively disappointing season as he battled injury, but is still a 30-goal player who can contribute at both even-strength and on the powerplay. He’s a special player that represents something not many of the other Flyers forwards can bring, and could be part of the 2019 “Superclass” next summer should he wait out this year.
Still, it’s not an easy decision to sign him long-term. Though he is obviously an excellent offensive player, some worry that his style could result in a quick decline as he enters his thirties. With such a strong resume he’ll likely be able to demand a contract in excess of six years, taking him into the later stage of his career at what could be a fairly high cap hit.