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Sabres acquire Wayne Simmonds

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Buffalo nabs veteran forward for next-to-nothing

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at New Jersey Devils Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres have reportedly acquired forward Wayne Simmonds from the New Jersey Devils for a fifth round pick in 2021. Further, it is reported if Buffalo makes the playoffs and Simmonds plays in 10 games, the pick becomes a fourth round. New Jersey will retain 50 percent of Simmond’s salary, which is $5 million this season. Simmonds is an unrestricted free agent.

The 31-year old forward is perhaps best known for his eight seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, during which Simmonds and the Flyers competed in the postseason four times. He’s also seen playoff action with the LA Kings and the Nashville Predators.

Simmonds was the 2018-19 winner of the Mark Messier Leadership Award. His production has dropped in recent seasons as his time on ice continues to decline. In 61 games for the Devils this year, Simmonds has scored eight goals and contributed 16 assists. In a damning indictment of Buffalo’s depth scoring woes, his 24 points put him seventh on the Sabres, ahead of Jeff Skinner and behind Marcus Johansson.

In his last five games, Simmonds has one goal. He’s spent the last week as a hot topic for many speculators – his UFA status made him fodder for the trade rumor mill. In a time when the phrase ‘rental player’ gets tossed about, the fifth (potentially fourth) round pick is as low a rental fee as a team could hope to pay. We also know about Buffalo’s forward depth issues; the move also makes some of the team’s underperforming forwards expendable. Die by the Blade will continue to bring you details of further movement throughout the day.