Monday was a sad day for me, in the hockey world. A day that you know in sports can happen anytime because in professional sports, it’s a business. My Philadelphia Flyers traded away my favorite player, Wayne Simmonds. Now I knew it was coming because he was a free agent at the end of the year, but I felt like Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber. I felt like there was a chance that we would hold onto him and work towards a new contract for Simmers. The clock struck 3pm eastern time and no news of him being traded. Yes!!!!! He’s still with us. At 3:01pm news came across that Wayne Simmonds had been traded at 2:57pm to the Nashville Predators.

Just like that. My first ever Flyer’s player I followed and bought his jersey was gone. Like many flyer fans at the time, I was pissed. I was upset, but then, I started thinking about all the goals I’ve seen him score. All the huge hits he would lay on other players, and even go and defend his team mates and fight the other team, no matter how big or nasty they were. I started following the flyers after the 2014 season, and instantly became a fan of his because of the grittiness he played with. How he played in front of the net, working hard to clean up the rebounds or bouncing puck and putting them in the net.

Saturday night, I was lucky enough to attend the outdoor game in Philadelphia at The Linc and got to see a typical Wayne Simmonds hit when he put the big hit on Brian DuMoulin.

After that hit, it felt like he knew as well that this was his last game as a flyer, and I’ll tell you what. He left everything out there. He may not of scored a goal, but he played his hardest and gave it his all. For me it was like watching Brian Dawkins last game as an Eagle where anything that moved, he made them pay for it. Just like Brian Dawkins, his team mates should respected him after the game by giving him the player of the game helmet.

So to close out my tribute to “The Wayne Train”, thank you. Thank you for getting me interested into this sport , and thank you for getting me interested into this team. You will be missed and will always be loved in Philly.

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James Casterline