Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds was just 5 in the fall of 1993, so he’s not sure if he was in front of a television when Joe Carter won the World Series for the Toronto Blue Jays with a Game 6 walk-off homer against the Phillies.
“I was probably watching with my grandmother,” said Simmonds, who grew 20-minutes East of Toronto in Scarborough, Ontario. “The Jays were always my team because my grandma was a huge Jays fan.”
Simmonds, who scored the Flyers’ first goal in a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, used to attend Jays games at the SkyDome, but never saw a Leafs game in person as a fan.
“I went to one open Leafs practice in my life,” he said. “You don’t come by tickets too often in Toronto. It’s pretty hard for the average Joe.”
Actually, Simmonds never pulled for the hometown team as a kid.
“I was always a Red Wings fan,” he said. “Sergei Fedorov, (Brendan) Shanahan, (Steve) Yzerman.”
Back home this week, Simmonds purchased about 15 tickets for Monday night’s game between the Flyers and Leafs for his father, brother, nephews, nieces and buddies.
“Everybody’s Flyer fans in my family, and you’ve got to be a Flyers fan if you’re going to be my friend,” said Simmonds, who now has with four goals and six points in eight career games against the Leafs, including three goals and four points in four games in Toronto.
Simmonds, by the way, says he’s been keeps feeling better and better after missing three games with a concussion and returning last Saturday.
“I’m starting to get the hands back, the timing,” he said. “I only missed a week, so it shouldn’t take that long.”
Simmonds at home in Toronto
Courier-Post | Feb 12