Toronto Maple Leafs forward Wayne Simmonds will be out of action for six weeks, the team announced Monday.
Simmonds was injured blocking a shot in the third period of Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. The Maple Leafs won the game 5-1.
“Simmer’s a big loss for us,” head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “He’s been playing well, [but he’s missed] not just with his play. He brings a lot to our room in a lot of other areas. That certainly will be missed.”
Simmonds has indeed been playing well, with five goals in a dozen games so far this season – including two Saturday against Vancouver.
For Simmonds, joining his fifth team in the last three years was always going to carry a little risk. But he fit in well with Toronto and solidified his game, dropping the mitts when necessary and creating a stir in front of the net.
“Wayne’s been awesome,” said Toronto forward Alexander Kerfoot. “He’s a lot of fun to be around in the locker room, he’s got a lot of experience, plays hard every day, comes to the rink and he’s consistent in the way that he works. He’s obviously elite on the power play and just the physicality and that mentality that he brings every night. We’re going to miss that.”
Simmonds had seen injuries meddle with the stat line of his game since about the 2018-2019 season in Philadelphia, where his numbers with the Flyers took a dip and he became somewhat of a journeyman. He spent time in Nashville, New Jersey, Buffalo.
Toronto came calling and he turned down a deal with the Montreal Canadiens before signing on the dotted line for $1.5 million.
It’s a shame that things are shaking down like this when time is of the essence during this truncated season.
The team is 9-2-1 going into another showdown against Vancouver Monday, with Joe Thornton and Nick Robertson also among the injured. Thornton was injured on January 20 and was slated to miss a month, while Robertson was injured on January 16 and was likewise expected to miss a month.
Pic: Mark Blinch/Getty Images