March 24, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds (17) breaks up ice with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the overtime period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Which Philadelphia Flyers Player Would I Want on the Buffalo Sabres?

Apr 11, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; A general view of the Wells Fargo Center before the start of game between the |f and Ottawa Senators. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres have only seven games left until their offseason begins, and what an offseason it promises to be.  The Sabres are either going to draft a ton of new talent, or they are going to use the pieces that that they have (Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek, Drew Stafford, and a bucket-load of draft picks) in order to wheel and deal their way into becoming a playoff-bound team.

In anticipation of these changes, I have started to compile a wish list of players around the NHL who I would love to see the Sabres acquire.   This may be a wish list, but it is not simply an exercise in futility; I have refrained from discussing obvious choices, super stars such as Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, P.K. Subban, Anze Kopitar, etc., who are unattainable.  No, my list is made up of very good players who would make an immediate impact and who could be gotten if the price was right.  A wish list does you no good if what you are wishing for is impossible, after all, and since I sincerely hope that some of the Buffalo Sabres’ front office will consider these posts a source of inspiration in the upcoming months (hell, they should be reading me already!), I will keep my dreams grounded in reality.

Allow me to begin sharing this wish list with you, then, by using the remaining games on the Sabres’ schedule to highlight an opposing player who I would love to see wearing blue and gold next year.  My first player on the wish list, then?

Wayne Simmonds, Right Wing

All year long, I listened as Buffalo Sabres complained that Jason Pominville was the perfect example of what was wrong with franchise. He was a talented player, sure, and he seemed like a nice guy and a good solider who followed orders without question, but he wasn’t much of a defender and he certainly was not a hard-nosed guy willing to throw his body around once in a while or get his hands dirty fighting for the puck on the boards.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Wayne Simmonds:

That video gives you a pretty good glimpse at what he brings to the table.  Exhibit A: Simmonds takes a run at Paul Martin of the Pittsburgh Penguins along the board, causing Martin to rush to get rid of the puck.  Simmonds immediately goes to the net and is rewarded for his physical play with a great scoring opportunity, which he finishes off with a goal.  

Exhibit B: Simmonds challenges Tanner Glass, then drops the gloves and gets down to work.  Out of the first 20 videos listed after my YouTube search for “Wayne Simmonds,” 12 involved fighting.  Simmonds’ is as likely to avoid physical play as I am to passing up one of the free boxes of popcorn that’s always available in the press box following a Sabres game.  Not.  Gonna.   Happen. 

Exhibit C: Simmonds single-handedly creates Jakub Voracek‘s goal, getting to the loose puck behind the net to keep the play alive, and then battling in front of the net, creating the rebound that Voracek promptly puts into the back of the net.

In short, this dude is the epitome of what it means to be a power forward in the NHL.  Some may argue that Scott Hartnell, Simmonds’ teammate, is a better example, but I wouldn’t take Hartnell if he signed for a dollar AND provided me with a lifetime supply of Movie Theater popcorn, to boot.  (You can tell I’m writing this late at night, which is prime popcorn time in my house!)   To me, Hartnell is a punk, a dirty, cheap-shot artist with terrible hair.   Simmonds plays hard, but I don’t feel he is as dirty as Hartnell, and he doesn’t remind me of a caveman like his teammate does, which is no small factor in this decision!

I really enjoy watching Wayne Simmonds play, and why wouldn’t I?  He scores goals, he creates opportunities for his teammates, and he sacrifices his body to make all of these things happen.  He’s an intimidating presence in many ways, and he would instantly make the Buffalo Sabres a better team.  If I could encourage the Sabres to try and trade for someone currently on the Flyers roster, then, it would be this guy.

Tomorrow: which member of the Tampa Bay Lightning would I like to see the Sabres try to get?  Why, it’s . . . .

I’d love to have you chime in with your own wish list as I move from team to team, so leave your comments below, or hit me up @theamazingMrS!



Tags: Buffalo Sabres Phildelphia Flyers Wayne Simmonds

  • Kevin

    They don’t have much to choose from actually. They look good on paper but once you get past Claude Giroux, all you have is older pieces parts or players I don’t find interesting. At least from the roster they are showing on their website. I don’t think it shows the injured players. Not saying none of them wouldn’t help, but I’m keen on trading away any draft picks to get them.

    • Richard Spalding

      I would take Simmonds. He would be a great addition to a second line, since he can score (sorely needed) and be physical. With Ott on the first line and Simmonds on the second, the Sabres would be pretty intimidating. Whether the Sabres ever actually go out and try to accumulate any of the players I discuss is a whole different story; I’m just having fun scouting potential grabs!

      • Kevin

        Ok! I will agree with WS. I like the idea you came up with for articles. Everyone likes talking about players we want and don’t want. That’s why the Trade Deadline is such a major ordeal. This is going to give you alot of articles Rich.

        • Richard Spalding

          Lots of research but it will be fun!

  • Andrew

    While I like Simmonds, it must be noted that the team that won the Stanley Cup, traded him that same year prior to winning.

  • Troy Berkely

    Well, if Regier is still calling the shots, I have very little faith anything will change, except getting more players to disappear in Buffalo’s Bermuda triangle. So I think it is a moot point to talk about trade possibilities! Until they get a GM capable of building a team based on a real vision on what that team should be (which Darcy has none) the same results will happen. Fitting square pegs into round holes will not get it done. Bring in a real GM with a fresh set of eyes! I simply do not trust Regier to make those decision any longer going forward!

    • Richard Spalding

      Troy, you may be right, no doubt. However, as a fan, I’m just sharing my ideas on who I feel would fit the Sabres right now and have the potential to have an immediate impact on the team next year. Clearly, there are a lot of variables at play – who is the GM? Who is the coach? Having said that, they ARE going to bring people in, so these wish list posts will be my personal vision of who would help the Sabres out. And who do you trust more, Darcy, or me? :D

      • Troy Berkely

        Well you have my vote! I am sure you would do a much better job at putting together a championship team, than the monkey the sabres currently call their GM.

        • Richard Spalding

          Ha ha! You’re too kind, humoring my cockiness! I’m sure being a GM is pretty tough; I have it easy, sitting here behind my computer, making decisions with no real consequences, right? I doubt I could do any WORSE than Regier has done, though. :D

          • Troy Berkely

            Its a pretty tough job if you don’t produce results, especially after 16 years. Its unheard of for a GM to last so long with so little to show for. On another point though, Simmons, although I am not sure about him specifically in terms of acquisitions, you make a good point in which the Sabres need a Lucic type of player on the roster. Hell in fact they could use a couple of them. Again, though, not to beat a dead horse, it comes back to the model in which type team you are building, and the players you bring in to fit that mold. That is why I advocate bringing in a new GM, with a set of fresh objective eyes to implement that process. I am convinced that Regier truly does not know how or what type of team to build.

          • Richard Spalding

            You hit the nail on the head: Simmonds would only work if the Sabres’ brass had a clue as to what TYPE of team they want to build. And I would have to agree: based on past results, it doesn’t seem as if the current people know how to build a team.