Wayne Simmonds signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.
The 32-year-old forward scored 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) and had 66 penalty minutes in 68 games with the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils last season, including one assist in seven games after he was traded to Buffalo on Feb. 24.
“I was born and raised in Scarborough (Ontario) … I think this was a perfect spot to be not only on the ice but obviously off the ice as well so it was a pretty easy decision, ” Simmonds told Sportsnet. “I think my playing style is a compliment to some of the stars on the team. I think I can help loosen it up a bit. And obviously, I’m a team first guy so anything happens to the boys I’ll be the first to get in there.”
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Selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round (No. 61) of the 2007 NHL Draft, Simmonds has 499 points (251 goals, 248 assists) in 909 regular-season games with the Sabres, Devils, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers and Kings. He has 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 44 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
“I honestly hope to come in and … I’ll work my way through the lineup,” Simmonds said. “You know they need a little bit of toughness and I think I can definitely, you know, put it out to the table but at the same time I’m a hockey player as well.”
Simmonds has scored at least 22 goals six times in his NHL career, including five straight seasons from 2013-18.