Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds has gone through a lot this season. He battled through injuries the whole year and only missed seven games. Simmonds quickly became a fan favorite in Philadelphia for his hard-nosed playing style as well as his contributions off the ice.
Simmonds has been named a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, presented “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey.”
Simmonds had a bit of a “down year,” but still managed to score 24 goals. It was his fifth straight 20-goal season with the Flyers. He is a leader in the locker room, on the ice, and off the ice.
Simmonds has been on the board of directors for the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation since 2014 and continues to spend significant time helping out children from the program. He also hosts Wayne’s Road Hockey Warriors in his hometown of Scarborough, Ontario in the summer.
He hosted a different military unit in a private suite during every other home game, meeting each group at the end of the evening. Simmonds also reached out to a group of hockey players from the U.S. Air Force, inviting them to practice and even skating with them following their tour of duty.
Simmonds is joined by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland and Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler as the three finalists. The winner will be announced at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
The Flyers now have two finalists for awards in Simmonds and Sean Couturier, who is a finalist for the Selke Trophy. Hopefully they will have at least one more. Claude Giroux definitely deserves to be at least a finalist for the Hart Trophy.
Photo by Heather Barry/Sons of Penn
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