According to Philadelphia Flyers' general manager Chuck Fletcher he is not going to allow forward Wayne Simmonds to leave without a return to his hockey team.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Wayne Simmonds, but we have to look at our cap situation moving forward, said Fletcher, who said Simmonds "has been a warrior for this franchise and is still a heck of a hockey player."
Fletcher doesn't want to duplicate what happened to the New York Islanders last year when star forward John Tavares left without getting any compensation in return.
"That won't happen," Fletcher said. "The goal would be to either have him signed of moved by the trade deadline."
Something needs to happen
The Flyers who are 14 points back of a wild-card playoff spot are also just one point from being in the cellar of the Eastern Conference.
They may be thinking of a "mini-rebuild", and definitely need to address their goaltending situation. They recently tied a not too attractive record of starting their seventh goalie in one season.
"A rebuild label to me is a little dicey - just in the sense that this team was building when I got here and I think we're still building," Fletcher said the other day. "We have a lot of good young players. We have to find a way to be competitive in the short term. It's really disappointing where we're at right now, and we have to look at all opportunities, not just between now and the trade deadline, but in the summer, to make sure we make the adjustments to get better. I think we're going to be pretty active between now and the start of next season."
On the positive side of the ledger, the Flyers have won four of five with rookie netminder Carter Hart playing well.
If he continues to play as well as he has recently, he will be the No. 1 goaltender for the rest of the year.
"We're still going to need to find some goaltenders this summer", Fletcher said. "We have some good young goaltenders who are coming... but we're going to have to add some veterans."
Who could be interested in Simmonds?
Teams who expect to make a deep playoff presence such as the Winnipeg Jets or Nashville Predators are rumored to have some interest as well as the Edmonton Oilers who are looking to add a forward to help out Connor McDavid and company.
Other teams who could have different levels of interest in adding Simmonds would be the Toronto Maples Leafs, Vegas Golden Knights, Boston Bruins, and believe it or not the Tampa Bay Lightning.
His talents should be rewarded with a good raise in pay due to his toughness, size, and experience. It's not too often a team can find a forward like Simmonds for under the $4 million salary range. He wants a long-term contract since he will turn 31-years-old in August.
He's probably hoping to pull in $7 million a year for seven years and the Flyers will have some cap space with $31.23 million available for next season... if they can afford his asking price.
Simmonds also has a 12-team no-trade list in his contract.
Simmonds wants to stay and has expressed he'd rather sign than be traded.
It just doesn't appear (for whatever reason) that GM Fletcher is too into that idea at this point.
He may be thinking about these three young players. Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, and Travis Sanheim will all need to be re-signed since they are ending their entry-level contracts.
He will see what he can get for Simmonds and then make his decision.
Who knows, he could very well remain a Flyer?
Tell us where you feel Wayne Simmonds go... if anywhere. What kind of contract can he expect if he re-signs with the Flyers? Let us know in the comments section below.