Could youth impact Flyers' NHL trade deadline decision with Wayne Simmonds?


While the Flyers boast a team with a well-established core, the roster also features an impressionable group expected to steer the future.

The Flyers have 10 players 24 years old or younger. Those 10 players have played a combined 1,229 NHL games.

Wayne Simmonds has played 824.

As much as Simmonds provides toughness, goal-scoring ability and power-play expertise, he also sets an example — which may be near as important as to what he could bring back in a trade before the 3 p.m. deadline Monday.

Saturday night in the Eagles' massive Lincoln Financial Field locker room, 22-year-old Oskar Lindblom started a moment between the Flyers' core of Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux, a trio together since 2011.

Lindblom is in his first full NHL season. The Swedish winger has come into his own, playing a top-six role and looking like a significant piece to the Flyers' future.

In the Linc locker room, he watched the emotions of the scene and took something from it. In fact, a player like Simmonds molds everyone — youngsters and vets.

"That was cool," Lindblom said. "All those guys, they're the core of the group. To see them talk and just be around them, that's good for all of us. We can learn so much from them and they're good leaders. It was great."

That's just a part of the equation for general manager Chuck Fletcher, who holds the gavel to the not-so-envious decision with Simmonds, a pending unrestricted free agent coveted by teams eyeing a significant playoff run right now.

For the Flyers, clinging to playoff hopes this season, much of right now is about next year and beyond, trying to set up 2019-20 as best as possible.

Ultimately, that has to be Fletcher's objective as he starts to retool the club's future.

Simmonds is 30 years old and due a new contract in the offseason after turning out to be a bargain for the Flyers over the past six seasons. For his new deal, he should be looking more long term, which probably isn't in the Flyers' ideal plan.

But Fletcher's call isn't so simple when you look at Simmonds' influence, not only within the organization and city, but also on the Flyers' youthfulness. 

"Well, for starters, he makes everybody play braver, there's no question about it," Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon said. "The energy he brings, whether it’s a hit or a fight or whatever it might be, his enthusiasm on the bench. 

"I don't know what is going happen moving forward with him but I'm certainly hoping he's here with us and he provides us with a lot. 

"Whatever appreciation I had for him before I took the job here, I have even more now."

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Contact Us