Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Five questions on the possibility of the Lightning trading for Wayne Simmonds

Names fly as the Feb. 25 trade deadline approaches. Simmonds has been most often matched with Tampa Bay.
The Lightning reportedly has inquired about Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds in the days leading up to the Feb. 25 NHL trade deadline. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Published Feb. 17
Updated Feb. 18

Names fly around Twitter, Reddit and everywhere else people talk hockey when the NHL trade deadline approaches. The name most often matched with the Lightning ahead of this year’s Feb. 25 deadline is Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds.

Here are five questions about the Lightning and Simmonds:

Who is Simmonds?

Simmonds is a 30-year-old power forward who had 27 points in 58 games entering Sunday’s game against the Red Wings. He’s at an age that’s on the high end for a power forward. At one point he was one of the league’s best at that job, but his play has declined. He no longer scores like he did, nor does he plays at the same physical level, but he is still a very good player who could add something to just about any team.

Simmonds also has a reputation as a popular teammate and could blend well in the Lightning’s tightly knit dressing room.

The Lightning would have to determine how much he could add to its team and if that is something it needs.

RELATED STORY: What player should the Lightning target if it makes a trade before the Feb. 25 deadline?

What we know about trade talk?

The Lightning inquired about Simmonds a couple of weeks ago. Simmonds can be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and it’s unlikely the Flyers will re-sign him. It’s hard to gauge the Lightning’s interest level. This being general manager Julien BriseBois’ first year in charge, he doesn’t have patterns to give us clues.

Simmonds has a 12-team no-trade list, and it doesn’t include the Lightning. His remaining daily salary cap hit is $1,047,177, according to the cap website CapFriendly.

Up Next: at Blue Jackets, 7:30 p.m., Monday | TV/Radio: NBCSN, AM-970

What would Simmonds cost?

The Lightning doesn’t have a straightforward 2019 first-round draft pick to offer. Its pick is tied up in conditions from last year’s trade for Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller from the Rangers. Philadelphia would probably look for a top prospect or perhaps a package of mid-level prospects.

Tampa Bay’s top prospect is defenseman Cal Foote. The Lightning is unlikely to part with him. It has other options to consider but wouldn’t want to empty the cupboard, particularly as it might need some of the smaller contracts to balance out the big ones against the salary cap.

Would Simmonds be a rental?

The Lightning doesn’t have a history of acquiring rentals at the deadline. But that’s what Simmonds would be.

The Lightning signing him for next season wouldn’t make sense. It has a salary cap issue on its hands. Even with three defensemen with expiring contracts, the Lightning needs money to cover raises to Nikita Kucherov, Yanni Gourde and Ryan McDonagh. And then there’s re-signing Brayden Point, who’s in the last year of his entry-level deal. That’s BriseBois’ first priority for next season.

A trade would offer Simmonds a chance to play for the Stanley Cup and audition for his next contract with another team.

When could a trade down?

The Lightning does not have an available roster spot. There is no roster limit after the deadline, so if Tampa Bay would make a move, it probably would do that very close to the deadline.

As the Lightning did last week to recall defenseman Jan Rutta from AHL Syracuse for a day, it could make a paper transaction to send someone to the AHL between making a trade and the roster opening up. Tampa Bay does play on deadline day — it hosts the Kings at Amalie Arena a week from today — so it would need to be willing to sit whoever was sent down.

Read more:

Andrei Vasilevskiy sets Lightning record for career shutouts

Divisional competition heats up for the Lightning

Lightning revisit the basics with skating coaches

Contact Diana C. Nearhos at dnearhos@tampabay.com. Follow @dianacnearhos

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Former Lightning wing Ryan Callahan's debut as an NHL Network analyst is drawing positive reviews. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Slap Shots: And we answer this week’s reader’s question: Why doesn’t Victor Hedman play more minutes, like other No. 1 defensemen?
  2. Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) celebrates with teammates after he scored in overtime of the team's NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 in Sunrise, Fla. The Avalanche won 5-4. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) WILFREDO LEE  |  AP
    Now the Avalanche head to Amalie Arena for a showdown with the Lightning on Saturday.
  3. Nikita Kucherov teams with Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos to give the Lightning one of the most potent top lines in the league. They'll face off against another "super line" Saturday against Colorado. Tampa Bay Times
    After the Boston Bruins’ super trio, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov look for more success against Colorado’s concentrated scorers.
  4. Tampa Bay Lightning center Alex Killorn (17) and right wing Luke Witkowski (28) celebrate with goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) after the Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a shootout in an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) ELISE AMENDOLA  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay: There was bad news Thursday in the Tampa Bay penalty box, for USF’s Blake Barnett, for the Yankees and the NFL’s reigning MVP.
  5. Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) goes down along the boards as he chases the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning centers Alex Killorn (17) and Anthony Cirelli (71) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Boston. ELISE AMENDOLA  |  AP
    Diana C. Nearhos’ notes from the game: Why not try Mikhail Sergachev with Ryan McDonagh? Point empty on the shootout again.
  6. Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Mathieu Joseph (7) scores against Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) ELISE AMENDOLA  |  AP
    They outplayed Boston five on five in the shootout win but were lacking on the power play and penalty kill.
  7. Jon Cooper and Derek Lalonde addressed the Boston College hockey team at Chestnut Hill on Wednesday. Courtesy of Boston College
    Eagles’ Hockey Hall of Fame-bound coach Jerry York invited Cooper to speak to his team
  8. Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (left) celebrates his goal with teammate Jake DeBrusk in Monday's game against the Ducks. Pastrnak had four goals against Anaheim and enters tonight's game against the Lightning on a roll. ELISE AMENDOLA  |  AP
    Tampa Bay finishes up the road trip with one of its toughest division rivals
  9. Montreal has something to offer for everyone. Diana C. Nearhos
    Julien BriseBois, Alex Killorn and Mathieu Joseph sent Diana C. Nearhos out to see some of Montreal’s favorite spots.
  10. Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price deflects a Tampa Bay Lightning shot during the second period Tuesday. PAUL CHIASSON  |  AP
    Diana C. Nearhos’s takeaways: A streak broken for Jonathan Drouin, fun in-game player videos.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement