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An Injury-Laden Year For Wayne Simmonds

from Dave Isaac of the Courier Post,

Wayne Simmonds, somehow, played through a torn pelvic ligament, pulled groin, broken teeth, broken ankle and only finally came out of the lineup when he fought Sewell’s Tony DeAngelo and got his hand stuck in DeAngelo’s jersey, tearing a ligament in his thumb. The only reason he missed seven games was because he couldn’t grip his hockey stick....

Simmonds claims that all these injuries were a matter of pain tolerance and so the Flyers let him play. Doctors didn’t stop him even after he came to camp with the first injury, which he estimates would have cost him about a month and a half. He played on and scored a hat trick on opening night, lending more to his apparent indestructibility.

“They showed me the MRI and I’m like, ‘Can I play?’” Simmonds recounted. “They said I could play.

“I don’t know if it’s the right thing, but I can’t not play. It’s just geared in my head. If I’m not dead or I’m not deathly sick, I’m gonna try to get out there and do whatever I can. Whether the coach is gonna play me, whatever minutes he wanted to play me, that was up to him. I’m definitely gonna sacrifice my body for the team, that’s for sure.”

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Comments

TreKronor's avatar

Hearing about these sorts of injuries these guys are playing through, it really has me wondering what kind of…pain killers these guys are taking. 

Hopefully nothing bad or habit forming, but you have to think they’re using something to tolerate this pain.

Posted by TreKronor on 04/25/18 at 08:28 PM ET

Avatar

Simmons is the kind of player the Wings have needed for years.

He’s a little sneaky-dirty, but a lot of guys are.

Anyway, it’s hard to think of a better power forward in the game right now.

Re: pain killers, you always wonder: these guys are so tough - but it’s hard enough seemingly to transition out of playing the game as it is…hopefully they
aren’t leaving with painful, debilitating chronic injuries that have them habituated
or addicted to drugs.

Posted by Lefty30 on 04/26/18 at 02:03 AM ET

Avatar

Simmons is the kind of player the Wings have needed for years.

And a player like Simmonds takes years to develop. Abdelkader serves that role for the Wings but is at least two notches below Simmonds at Abby’s best. Because they didn’t have anyone else ready to fill that role is why Abby was awarded the big contract even if he wasn’t worth the term or the dollars.

I’m desperately hoping Givani Smith becomes their version of Simmonds. He’s gotten the comparisons and appears to have the work ethic but he’s got to get bigger and better to reach that goal. it pains me to say it but it might be 4 more years before he could take the role from Abby if he’s up to it. Keep in mind it took Simmonds about 4 years of NHL play to really be a difference maker.

 

Posted by evileye on 04/26/18 at 09:15 AM ET

Avatar

No doubt, evileye.

I think we’d be fortunate to get a guy one notch below Simmons at his best.

I saw Simmons once when he was still with LA - he was definitely noticeable
in sort of a grinding, agitating way in a bottom-six role. But I’d have never guessed
he had this kind of scoring touch and timing and toughness.

Philly’s pro scouts deserve serious credit for that one.

If Simmons is a mentor to Smith back in Ontario, we can hope some of
the pro know-how rubs off. The Wings have either struggled to draft power
forwards or have focused elsewhere. I’ll give Abby credit for trying to fill
a few roles even if it’s expecting too much. That’s one reason I don’t mind
Witkowski in a limited role.

Posted by Lefty30 on 04/26/18 at 02:29 PM ET

Avatar

Re: pain killers, you always wonder: these guys are so tough - but it’s hard enough seemingly to transition out of playing the game as it is…hopefully they
aren’t leaving with painful, debilitating chronic injuries that have them habituated
or addicted to drugs.

Posted by Lefty30 on 04/26/18 at 02:03 AM ET

There was a really good article on Deadspin a few years back by some Denver Broncos depth tight end talking about all the injuries he sustained and all the treatment/shots/screws put in his foot to keep him on the field.  But most interestingly, his medical history belonged to the team and the “treatment” (shots and pain killers mostly) was meant to keep him on the field, not to heal the existing injury.  His body was just a mess.  As much as I admire the warrior mentality, and certainly simmonds is one, you’ve got to wonder what the end result is. 

The NHL never really had that big steroids/HGH reveal moment or anything and I find it hard to imagine that its been so squeaky clean, or if they just don’t test stringently enough.  I know its blasphemous, but the Gary Roberts injury back in the day is one I always questioned. With all the goons and fighters over the years, its just really hard to imagine those guys just rode the bike and ate fresh vegetables to stay in shape.

Posted by PMP5030 on 04/26/18 at 03:00 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

The NHL never really had that big steroids/HGH reveal moment or anything and I find it hard to imagine that its been so squeaky clean, or if they just don’t test stringently enough

I have thought about this and I think it’s a culture thing.  NHL players aren’t going to talk about that stuff, because it would be…outside of the norm for them.  It really was like that with head injuries until most recently. 

I also think the NHL is quiet about this, and they can sort of get away with it because they fly under the radar since they aren’t one of the top-sports in the country.  The only time doping seems to reaaaally come out is on the international stage, and there isn’t a whole lot of NHL players who partake in this, at least regularly.

Posted by TreKronor on 04/26/18 at 03:59 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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