Rumor: Wayne Simmonds to The Leafs

After losses to division rivals Bruins & Lightning, the Toronto Maple Leafs are once again at the front of the rumour mill thanks to comments by TSN's Insiders, Darren Dreger & Pierre LeBrun.

LeBrun went on the record recently saying that new Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher is trying to make a trade before the Dec 19th trade freeze. Ideally they would like to add a veteran defender or a top 9 forward.

Darren Dreger followed up these comments with:

"And someone will link the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Flyers because there is ongoing speculation that the Leafs need a power forward and Wayne Simmonds' name always pops up when you get into those types of conversations. Michael Ferland of the Carolina Hurricanes might be another consideration." 

Dreger went on to say. 

"I believe that if the coaching staff of the Leafs were making deals, yes, they would add a power forward. But at what cost?"

Recent online polls have shown that, if Leafs fans could add one player from another era in their prime to the current roster, it would be Wendel Clark. In the modern NHL, Wayne Simmonds is about as close as you can come to Wendel Clark.

Simmonds is a perenial 25-30 goal scorer. He is heavy on the body along the boards and will willing drop the gloves with anyone. It also doesn't hurt that Wayne is from the GTA. His passion and style of play could serve to electrify fans in a way not seen since Captain Crunch roamed the ice at the old  Garden.

Simmonds is a pending UFA, as is Jake Gardiner.  I have heard speculation that a swap of the pending free agents may serve to benefit both teams. The Leafs are free to move Gardiner with the emergence of young gun, Travis Dermott and the expected promotion of AHL standouts, Rasmus Sandin and/or Timothy Liljegren next season. 

Here is where the trade will get truly interesting. Both teams will look to acquire key pieces to make them more competitive in future years. Therefore, any trade between the Flyers and Leafs would likely involve more moving parts such as a young defender coming back to Toronto and a young forward heading to the Philly. 

Talented d-men such as Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, and Travis Sanheim would undoubtedly be targeted by the Leafs, While the flyers would be eyeing high flying forwards such as William Nylander, Andreas Johnsson & Kasperi Kapanen.

It seems both teams have the assets the other wants. Can a deal happen? Stay tuned as something is brewing in both Philly and Toronto.

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