An Open Letter to Wayne Simmonds

Hey, Simmer.

I’m not sure if you know this, but when you first came to Philadelphia, I wasn’t your biggest fan. It wasn’t your fault, really. You were the other woman, so-to-speak. I was reeling from the trades of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, two of my favorite players and the guys who had been at the core of the organization. You, Schenner, Couturier, and Jake took some heat from me because I was bitter.

Everyone kept talking about how great of a player you were. How gritty you were, how you would be a perfect fit in Philadelphia. I still didn’t buy it. Again, it wasn’t your fault. I just couldn’t completely let go of the bitterness. June 23 will forever be a dark day in my heart (miss you, too, JVR).

But, time passed and I got to watch you play in Philly. I got to watch you dance to “Knock Knock” on 24/7, which seemed like a good time. Anyone who loves dancing is good in my book, and maybe one day you and I could sing “Knock Knock” at the top of our lungs together after a Flyers win (I’ll meet you outside of the Wells Fargo Center).

It took me some time to warm up to you, but I think it’s finally happened. You are, by far, the epitome of what a Flyers player should be like. You do whatever it takes to help your team, you back your guys up on the ice, and damn it, you score goals off of your face.

You’re a warrior, and we like that here in Philadelphia

Sometimes, especially lately, you seem like you’re the only one with heart on this current roster. It’s nice, knowing that not everyone on the team has decided to pack it in for the season. No matter what, you’re still grinding, still trying your hardest to carry the team on your back. Hell, you’re not even a captain. But you’ve got captain qualities, that’s for sure.

So this is my apology to you, Wayne. I’m sorry for not giving you a chance when you first came to the Flyers. I’m sorry for doubting your abilities and thinking you sucked for no other reason than the fact that Mike Richards was in Los Angeles and you were here. It was really stupid, I know that.

This is also a thank you. Thanks for giving it all you’ve got. Thanks for doing whatever it takes to win a hockey game, even if the rest of the team doesn’t follow suit. And thanks for just being a total badass and reminding this city what it’s like to see a player play with passion.

Keep doing you, Simmer. ‘Cause it’s alright with me.