Rumours have surfaced that the Vancouver Canucks are interested in Wayne Simmonds. Would the veteran winger be a good addition or another dud?
The Vancouver Canucks are reported to be interested in New Jersey Devils forward Wayne Simmonds in the lead-up to this year’s trade deadline.
The rumour was first put out by Rick Dhaliwal of TSN 1040, and it gained traction after being reported upon during a recent segment of TSN’s Insider Trading. Simmonds, 31, is a pending unrestricted free agent, having signed a one-year deal worth $5 million with the New Jersey Devil last offseason.
The two-time 60-point scorer has five goals and 14 assists in 53 games so far this season. In fact, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun mentioned on Insider Trading that Vancouver was interested in Simmonds before he wound up signing with New Jersey.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Simmonds is a big player with a mean streak that can protect the young guns, making him exactly the kind of player that the Vancouver management team likes.
They did end up making one Simmonds-like addition in the offseason in Micheal Ferland, but he has been injured most of the campaign with a concussion. As a result, he has not been able to provide the role for Vancouver.
At this point, there is no certainty as to when or if Ferland will return this season. Despite working hard to recover, he has not yet reported for his conditioning stint in Utica. Without a timeline for Ferland’s return, Simmonds is of interest to the team and its playoff push.
However, he would be of interest as nothing more than a rental player. Simmonds is aging, and no longer has the jets that he used to play with. His one-year deal makes him a likely rental to a potential playoff team, but the Canucks would be ill-advised to sign him to an extension.
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The Canucks would likely wait until the last minute to pull the trigger on a deal. It appears that the decision whether or not to pursue Simmonds is entirely dependent on Ferland’s status as the Feb. 24 trade deadline nears.
If there is a setback, the Canucks will either go for it or stand pat. However, if they do decide to add Simmonds, his lack of scoring means that the price is unlikely to be high.
A savvy move for Benning would be to try and offload a bad contract such as Brandon Sutter for Simmonds. The two contracts have a similar annual average value, although Sutter is signed for a year longer.
If the two players were to be swapped for one another and Simmonds is then let go in free agency, the Canucks essentially eliminate Sutter’s deal one year early, creating much-needed cap space. The lowly Devils have shown a willingness to eat expensive contracts (see P,K. Subban) and are in a position in which no addition is a bad addition. That said, any sweeteners should be off the table for the Canucks.
Ultimately, there is little that Simmonds can bring to the Canucks other than some grit. They should consider him only if Ferland isn’t close to a return, and if they can offload an expensive contract in the process. Otherwise, Benning and company should stay away. Let us know what you think about the idea of the Canucks trading for Simmonds below.