Wayne Simmonds has spent a little more than one full year as a member of the Flyers, but he took a huge step on Wednesday to making Philadelphia his home for a long time.
The Flyers and Simmonds agreed to a six-year contract extension, the team announced Thursday morning.
Simmonds, 23, will earn approximately $24 million over those six years with the estimated $4 million in average annual value reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie. It is unclear how the deal will be structured as to whether it is back-loaded or front-loaded.
Simmonds was set to enter the final year of his 2-year contract this fall, after being acquired from Los Angeles last summer in a trade for Mike Richards. He set new career-highs in goals (28) and points (49) while adding significant grit and toughness over 82 games on the wing with the Flyers.
The new deal is set to begin in the 2013-14 season.
The timing of Simmonds’ extension is certainly interesting.
For one, Simmonds is just 45 days into his negotiating period for an extension, as he has next season remaining on his deal at $2 million. Although this reported new extension will nearly double his salary, there is a strong possibility that with the league’s current labor uncertainty, the new deal could ultimately be worth less.
For instance, the NHL’s original Collective Bargaining Agreement proposal on July 13 - which was finally countered by the NHLPA on Tuesday in Toronto - called for a 24-percent rollback in player salaries. So, if Simmonds signed a $24 million deal, and the NHL gets its way, his new extension is suddenly worth a little more than $18 million. The NHL has also proposed term limits on contracts of 5 years.
The NHL's CBA expires on Sept. 15, at which point commissioner Gary Bettman has promised the owners will lockout the players. Both the NHL and NHLPA said on Wednesday that there is a "significant economic gulf" in negotiations.
More to come.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers