Wayne Simmonds says he was almost traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Jordan Eberle early in his career

Photo credit:Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
1 month ago
During his time with the Philadelphia Flyers, Wayne Simmonds became known around the National Hockey League as one of the top power forwards around. But to hear him tell it, his time with the Flyers was nearly cut short.
On Thursday’s edition of OverDrive on TSN 1050, Simmonds told hosts Brian Hayes, Jeff O’Neill, and Jonas Siegel that he was almost traded to the Edmonton Oilers early on in his tenure with the Flyers.
“I remember one time in Philly, my agent called me and was like, ‘You’re getting traded to Edmonton,'” Simmonds said. “This was like early in my Philly career and I’m like, ‘What do you mean? I’m scoring like 28 goals a year, you guys are gonna trade me?'”
“I get a call from [Flyers GM] Paul Holmgren,” Simmonds continued. “I’m like, ‘Holmer, what’s going on here, man?’ He’s like, ‘We’re not trading you.’ I’m like, ‘OK.’ He’s like, ‘Don’t ever think we’re going to trade you.’ I’m like, ‘OK.'”
Simmonds, now 35, arrived in Philly alongside Brayden Schenn prior to the 2011-12 season in a blockbuster trade that sent then-Flyers captain Mike Richards to the L.A. Kings.
The ‘Wayne Train’ spent the following eight seasons in Philadelphia, reaching or surpassing 28 goals in a season five times, before being sent to the Nashville Predators at the 2018 trade deadline.
But to hear Simmonds tell it, he would’ve commanded a pretty hefty return from the Oilers in the form of one of their top young stars at the time — or, at least, that’s what his agent told him.
“What I was told, he told me, it was a trade for Eberle, me for Eberle, but they couldn’t make the money work,” Simmonds said. “I think I was making, like, $1.75 [million] or something like that and Ebs was probably making $5 million or something like that.”
Eberle actually made $6 million per season with the Oilers after signing a six-year extension with the team coming off his ELC back in 2012. At the time, Simmonds did indeed earn that bargain rate of $1.75 million a year, although he was bumped up to a $3.975 million annual salary on his next deal.
All in all, Simmonds finished his career with 263 goals and 526 points in 1,037 games with the Kings, Flyers, Predators, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, and Toronto Maple Leafs. He added eight goals and 22 points in 53 career playoff contests.
Fittingly, it was Eberle who was almost moved at this year’s trade deadline, before re-signing on a two-year pact with them. The 33-year-old has 37 points in 58 games this season.

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