Could the New Jersey Devils trade one of their few veterans in Wayne Simmonds? The Vancouver Canucks are interested.
The New Jersey Devils will likely be sellers at this month’s NHL trade deadline and one name already generating buzz is Wayne Simmonds.
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports that the Vancouver Canucks are interested in trading for the 31-year-old right-winger.
Simmonds is a player Vancouver has targeted for several months, as LeBrun reports, “The Canucks tried on Simmonds last summer, but he opted to sign in the Metropolitan Division.”
LeBrun also reports that it’s unclear whether or not the Devils want to move him.
“It should be noted, interim Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald hasn’t totally committed to trading Simmonds, a pending UFA. As one source described it Thursday, that’s still a decision that is in limbo. Simmonds is so respected in the Devils dressing room and his leadership impact so real that it’s not out of the question New Jersey wants to keep him around.”
Simmonds is in his first year with the Devils as he signed a one-year, $5 million contract this past offseason.
Before joining New Jersey, Simmonds spent time with the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators.
Simmonds has scored 248 goals in his career, with 245 assists in 894 games. This season, the “Wayne Train” has scored five goals and recorded 14 assists for a total of 19 points.
Simmonds hasn’t been New Jersey’s most productive player, as his plus-minus rate is currently -15.
Regardless, he brings experience to the ice each night and is serving as a mentor to the Devils young core.
As LeBrun reported, general manager Tom Fitzgerald will have to decide if his leadership is worth holding onto and potentially letting him walk in free agency or if they’re best off moving Simmonds to obtain some sort of compensation.
The NHL trade deadline is Monday, Feb. 24.