Wayne Simmonds Is Proving His Worth With the Toronto Maple Leafs

Wayne Simmonds, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Wayne Simmonds, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs finally found a physical forward who can pitch in offensively.

When was the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs had a tough forward that can put up points? The only recent forwards to put up 30+ points while playing a physical role are Leo Komarov and Nazem Kadri.

Over the years, the Leafs have become a smaller, younger, and more skilled team. That also meant their top players had little to no protection. Toronto needed someone that can step in.

They acquired David Clarkson and Matt Martin with the hopes they could fill that role. We all know how that turned out.

Enter Wayne Simmonds.

Toronto Maple Leafs and Wayne Simmonds

After being signed to a seven-year contract paying him $5.25 million per season, Clarkson notched 26 points in 118 games. Martin signed a four-year contract paying him $2.5 million per season and notched 21 points in 132 games. Both were epic failures.

Longtime Philadelphia Flyer, Wayne Simmonds, decided to sign with the Leafs this past offseason. Fans and analysts were hoping the Scarborough native would be an effective bruiser and have a role in the team’s already overpowered offense.

It wouldn’t take long for the winger to have an impact on the team. A fight in the first game of the season changed the game’s momentum in favor of Toronto. What would have been a loss was turned into a win.

On Saturday night, he showed he still has his scoring touch. Simmonds scored two goals, with one being on the power play. Now, he has five points in 12 games, with all five points being goals. Unfortunately, now he is on the shelf for six weeks.  He will be missed.

Simmonds and two other players are in a tie for third on the team for hits. Regarding hits per 60 minutes, Simmonds leads the team’s starters by 2.09.

His one-year $1.5 million contract is paying off handsomely. With 44 games left in the shortened season, the veteran is on pace to eclipse 20 goals, something he obviously won’t do now.  Regardless, that alone would almost surpass what Martin and Clarkson had during their tenure with the Leafs.

More of his impact on the team that does not show up on the stat sheets will show late in the season and if Toronto makes the playoffs. He is the type of player the team would have loved when playing against the Boston Bruins and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Next. Justin Holl Among Top Defenseman This Season So Far. dark

No one expected Wayne Simmonds to step in and rack up 40 points. What we expected was a physical presence with a scoring touch. He has been as expected for the Toronto Maple Leafs and a great signing from this past offseason.