Feb 15: Simmonds has cleared waivers, meaning the Maple Leafs can now send him to the minor leagues (at least on paper) when necessary.
Feb 14: The Toronto Maple Leafs have again placed Wayne Simmonds on waivers, according to Ryan Rishaug of TSN, allowing them to move him up and down when necessary. Simmonds has already cleared twice this season.
The veteran forward is essentially a practice player at this point in his career, suiting up just 13 times for the Maple Leafs so far. He isn’t going to play in the minor leagues – in fact, he has never suited up for a minor league club in his 15-year professional career – but the team will move him down whenever they have a bit of a cap crunch.
That is likely in preparation for the trade deadline, which Simmonds will now be waiver-exempt through should he clear tomorrow. If the Maple Leafs add a forward, which is expected at this point, cap will need to be opened up.
One thing to remember is that after the deadline, there is no longer a 23-man roster limit. If you have the cap space, you can carry as many players as you want. In Toronto’s case, Simmonds will likely be up whenever someone is injured, and at the very least is going to be with the team for the playoffs, staying ready to go in if necessary.