After working his way up from the fourth line and with the Toronto Maple Leafs rolling, the team got bad news as they learned Wayne Simmonds could be out for quite some time. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the 32-year-old power forward is expected to miss up to six weeks after leaving during the third period of Saturday’s game after being hit in the hand with a shot.
Signed this past offseason to help add depth to the team’s forward group, the combination of strong play and injuries to other players helped Simmonds steadily earn his way onto the team’s second line. He scored two goals on Saturday in a dominant performance over the Vancouver Canucks and he’s been integral to the team’s success so far this season. The Maple Leafs currently sit in first place in the North Division with a 9-2-1 record.
Simmonds has moved around over the past few seasons, often struggling along the way, he seems to have found a place in Toronto. He feels comfortable with his role and the offense has returned to his game. He has already tallied five goals in the team’s first 12 games.
Maple Leafs’ Depth More Important Than Ever
Unfortunately, the Maple Leafs will need to find another option. Now, without Simmonds (hand), veteran Joe Thornton (rib injury) and rookie Nicholas Robertson (knee) all out, the team’s depth is being tested. It will be interesting to see what approach GM Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe take.
There have been rumors the Leafs might be interested in adding a forward, some insiders suggesting the team might be looking at Sam Bennett. It stands to reason Toronto may test the trade market if they can’t find what they need internally.
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