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Wayne Simmonds Unsure About His Future With Maple Leafs

Wayne Simmonds says he’d be open to returning to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but not sure what the team is thinking when it comes to the roster.

Wayne Simmonds understands he might be a casualty of the changes fans, media and MLSE expect the Toronto Maple Leafs, namely GM Kyle Dubas to make after a disappointing end to their 2020-21 NHL season. Simmonds was brought in on a one-year, low-cost contract. When he was in the lineup, he was fairly effective. But, after another first-round series exit, some heads have to roll.

Dubas has maintained his commitment to the four core players on the team. Specifically, he noted that Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews aren’t going anywhere, regardless of how little they produced in the series against the Montreal Canadiens. That could mean Simmonds is among the list of players the team decides to do something about.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Dubas: I Won’t Dump 2 Stars for Not Scoring in 1 Series

It’s not necessarily that the Leafs want to move Simmonds, but something’s got to give. And, with only one assist in seven playoff games, the forward is partially to blame for how little Toronto’s offense was able to get accomplished.

Simmonds spoke to the media and was asked about whether or not he thinks he’ll be back next season. He responded, “I got no clue to be honest with you.” He added:

Like I said, I thoroughly enjoyed my time this year playing for the Leafs. Although it is a sport we play, you know we love the game we play, it is a business though. … We didn’t get past that Game 7 threshold so I honestly don’t know what management’s thought process is, how the coaching staff feels about the support pieces on the team.

Confidence in Roster vs. Expected Change

Simmonds seven goals and nine points in 39 games for the Leafs this season. He was on a bit of a roll before going down with an injury, which clearly derailed his momentum. The question will be, is Simmonds reliable enough to know that he’ll provide the depth scoring Toronto needs?

Wayne Simmonds Maple Leafs
Wayne Simmonds Maple Leafs

There are two Simmonds the Leafs will have to look at. One, there’s the Simmonds that scored a handful of goals in just a few games. Second, there’s the Simmonds that didn’t show up much after he returned from injury. It’s very possible Dubas likes the idea of the player, but doesn’t want to take a chance he’s going to be ineffective when it matters most.

The Leafs have to make some changes. Doing nothing won’t be acceptable by the fan base and the ownership group. But, does letting Simmonds leave create more unrest? Or, is this part of the change everyone is expecting?

Next: Canucks and Senators Open to Trading Respective First-Round Picks

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