Simmonds interview

There’s no debate about which player was the surprise of training camp. Wayne Simmonds showed potential 12 months ago, but he seemed to be a raw talent in need of a lot of development. Simmonds came in this summer, starting at the development camp, and impressed team management with his improved strength and puck-handling skills. He earned a spot on the roster and will get third-line minutes when the season opens. Of course, with Patrick O’Sullivan returning, Simmonds will need to immediately show that he should stick in the NHL. Here’s what Simmonds had to say about his memorable training camp…

———-

Question: It must have been quite a thrill to hear you made the team. What was your reaction?

SIMMONDS: “Oh, it’s unbelievable. When I talked to coach Murray, he told me I’d be here for now. It’s a great opportunity and I just have to show myself and prove myself.”

Question: Every young guy who comes into camp talks about making the team. How realistic did you really think it was?

SIMMONDS: “I always set high expectations for myself, but I didn’t know what my chances of making the team were. I just went out and worked as hard as I possibly could and good things happened.”

Question: When you left here a year ago, what did they tell you that you needed to work on?

SIMMONDS: “Pretty much being better with the puck, making better decisions both offensively and defensively, and puck protection. It was huge for me to develop that.”

Question: Did you feel much more confident in those areas this year?

SIMMONDS: “Yeah, and coming in, you just know your surroundings better, so it’s easier to get around. You just feel more comfortable and you’re more confident. That’s the big thing.”

Question: How do you see yourself on this team? What do you think you can contribute?

SIMMONDS: “I think I bring a lot of energy to the team. I’m not shy and I’m not afraid to play physical, but at the same time, I have some skills too, so that will help me as well.”

Question: You weren’t shy about getting in some scraps in the preseason…

SIMMONDS: “No. You’ve got to assert yourself. You want to be the guy who stands out, and that’s what I tried to do.”

Question: Is it about making a statement in preseason, so that when guys see you again, they remember you?

SIMMONDS: “Well, a lot of guys are probably ticked off at me, but I just did what I had to do.”

Question: Have you done some weight training, to put on some strength?

SIMMONDS: “Yeah, I think I left at 174 (pounds) last year. I’m 182 now. So I put on a bit of weight, and it’s all good weight too. It’s all muscle.”

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  • mrbrett7

    I still think he may get killed until he puts on about 20 pounds, but you can’t take away how hard he plays. I really hope he sticks.

  • Tim

    I agree, he needs a little more body mass. He’s young, and growing… Hope he does well this season!

  • Paul

    The real question is, who will stick longer? Simmonds or Moller?

  • deadcatbounce

    Wayne will be okay if he learns to pick his spots. You can’t be a plodder with the new rules anymore, and hopefully he can utilize his speed and quickness to his advantage. Good luck, Wayne! I hope you stick all season!

  • JB

    Some other guys in the 180-190lb range: Sean Avery, Mike Ribiero, Michael Camalleri, Martin St Louis, Kris Draper, Darcy Tucker, Derek Roy, Paul Kariya, Andy McDonald

    Point being he will be fine.

    And Rich don’t you think it more likely Moller is sent back down to his Junior team rather than bumping Simmonds? If Moller plays beyond 10 games DL/Murray are stuck with him for the whole season. If he starts to falter after his 10 games played they can’t send him down to Manchester. So they would either have to keep playing a kid who may show signs of struggling or bench him. Why would a team in the rebuilding phase want to be put in that situation?

  • jet

    182 is not too bad, but boy he sure likes like 170. He has to be one of those guys with 5% body fat.

  • mrbrett7

    That’s true about not being able to be a plodder anymore. I just hope he doesn’t get killed.

    IMO, Simmonds sticks longer, mostly because he can be sent back and forth to Manchester, and Moller can’t, he either stays or goes back to Juniors.

  • Paul

    Here’s another good question…kinda related….We’ve all assumed that Doughty is here for the season. He could get sent back to juniors by 10 games as well. Anyone think there’s any chance that could happen? Would Dean Lombardi make it out of Staples Center if he sent Doughty back to juniors?

  • simonsez

    Actually I’m pretty sure Moller could still be sent back after 10 games. The difference is that they would burn a year off his entry level deal.

  • sense13

    Rich,

    No disrespect Rich but as JB and Mrbrett has mentioned above, I too believe that Simmonds will stick. Most likely Moeller will be demoted. In addition to those reasons forementioned, Simmonds is a charecter player and can add some toughness in a forward spot much like Kos used to. Moeller on the other hand is a skilled player very much like Sully.

    I think Simmonds will be a king all year long and hopefully for years to come. He’s the second coming of Lappy.

  • Quisp

    Re Simmonds, Moller, Doughty, etc…who gets demoted:

    Doughty is not going to get sent back to juniors. That particular train has already left the station.

    As far as the forward log-jam goes, if Moller puts up, say, more than a half-point a game for nine games, he’s going to be hard to send down. For those two (Moller and Simmonds) it’s about whether or not they out-play Richardson and Moulson and Boyle, and — for another reason — Calder and Armstrong. Calder should/could be seen as being on a ten game “try-out” too.

    Also, knock on wood, lets not forget injuries, which have a way of changing the landscape in a hurry. Who stays healthy will have as much impact as performance.

    Last year at this time, I said something to the effect that, if the Kings are better than 5-4 (or something like that) after nine games, then Bernier will be staying. They weren’t and he didn’t.

    This year, I would go with something similar. If the Kings are playing better than 5-4 after nine games, and if Moller and Simmonds are doing what’s expected of them, I think they’re here for the season.

  • Anonymous

    Simmonds has 3 gifts which cannot be denied:

    –Quick hands

    –Quick feet

    –Quick mind/decision-making, on-the-ice

    I believe Simmond’s potential to be more than just a solid 3rd-liner/PK guy.

    He has star potential, offensively.

    We could be seeing the makings of a 50-80 point,
    20-30 Goal player with a strong physical aspect & well-above average defensive skills & PK ability.

    In effect. Simmonds just MIGHT be:

    THE 2ND-COMING OF ADAM DEADMARSH!

    (AKA Adam Deadmarsh with a suntan.:) )

    ======================================================

    –Sergei Prozacutov

  • sense13

    Anonymous said:
    Simmonds has 3 gifts which cannot be denied:

    –Quick hands

    –Quick feet

    –Quick mind/decision-making, on-the-ice

    I believe Simmond’s potential to be more than just a solid 3rd-liner/PK guy.

    He has star potential, offensively.

    We could be seeing the makings of a 50-80 point,
    20-30 Goal player with a strong physical aspect & well-above average defensive skills & PK ability.

    In effect. Simmonds just MIGHT be:

    THE 2ND-COMING OF ADAM DEADMARSH!

    (AKA Adam Deadmarsh with a suntan.:) )

    Yeah, I tend to agree with this. I think in the first few years, he’s going to let his fist do most of the talking but I can DEFINITELY see him becoming a legitimate power forward. He just needs to grow physically and gain the invaluable NHL experience.

    As compared to Deadmarsh, I actually think Simmonds will be a faster and a tougher version of Deader.

  • Anonymous

    My only concern for Simmonds is that I think his offensive develpoment could be slowed/hindered by playing so much checking-line/PK time in the NHL early-on in his career.

    He would benefit from playing 1st-line/1st-PP time in Manchester for a stretch–maybe 20 games or so.

    Simmonds is in an odd position, compared to other players, because he’s actually NHL-ready (for skating/checking/PK abilities), even though he’s still really “green”.

    I am a believer in using the AHL as a prep-”tune-up” league for fullest possible development of MOST
    players right before they make the final jump to the NHL.

    Fairly recently, the Ducks demnonstrated this with
    Getzlaf, Perry, and others.

    I am convinced, for example, that the strike year really HELPED Dustin Brown offensively, allowing him to play a full season in the AHL at 20.

    Unprovable, I know.

    But many coaches and GMs would agree with this “theory”, judging from how they often handle young players, including would-be stars.

    Anyway, I think a single 23-game run in the AHL (playing TOP line & 1st PP) this year, would help kick Simmond’s scoring up a notch.

    The crazy irony is that the kid is such a smart, fast, good player ALREADY, that he may end up slowing his own offensive development!

    But hopefully, not by too much.

    In any case,
    Every Kings fan should thank God (or the Cosmos)
    we drafted Simmonds & Moller.
    ======================================================

    –Sergei Prozacutov

  • DellaNooch

    Simmonds is sticking around, he’ll just have to compete with some of the “extra” players for time (ie Armstrong, Richardson, Calder)…Moller is a tough case, as he really needs to be on a scoring line to be effective or grow, I’m not sure that opportunity exists with Sully back…he’s going to have to beat one of our top six out of a position unless there is an injury

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