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Wayne Simmonds' poor 2018-19 season was not a one-off

July 18, 2019, 11:04 AM ET [52 Comments]
Todd Cordell
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There's a perception the 2018-19 season was simply an injury-plagued down year for Wayne Simmonds and that a full summer to recover, and a change of scenery, will help him return to old form.

That perception is misguided. While it's possible Simmonds enjoys more success than a season ago playing alongside Jack Hughes – that will likely be a common theme throughout his career – 2018-19 was *not* a down year, or a one-off, for Simmonds. It was simply another step downwards in a very evident decline that's been on-going for a while.

Take Simmonds' 5v5 production, for example. He was at the peak of his powers and enjoyed his best overall season in 2015-16, averaging 1.92 points per 60 while piling up shots and chances. Simmonds followed up that great year with the three lowest outputs since his rookie campaign in 2008-09.

Simmonds' shot and chance generation numbers suggest the dip in efficiency is no fluke. Be it attempts, shots on goal, chances, or high-danger looks around the net, Simmonds is nowhere close to what he was even a few years ago.

You can still be a useful player and drive positive results even if the individual production isn't there. Unfortunately, that's not the case with Simmonds.

The goal in hockey, obviously, is to out-score your opponent. Generally you need to help your team control more than 50% of the shots and chances to do that.

Once again, Simmonds hasn't really shown that ability since his fantastic 27-year-old season with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Could he rebound and put together a solid season with Jack Hughes and company? Sure, crazier things have happened.

But it's probably not a coincidence a power forward saw his numbers decline significantly across the board as he exited his 20s and entered his 30s. Let's not pretend it is one.

numbers via naturalstattrick.com

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