BOSTON -- As trade rumors swirl about Wayne Simmonds, the Flyers’ right winger has blocked them out and hasn’t let them affect his play.
Simmonds, 30, entered Thursday’s game in Boston with 15 goals, second on the Flyers. The Bruins are among the teams reportedly interested in Simmonds.
“He’s had a great attitude in practice, and off the ice,” interim coach Scott Gordon said after the morning skate Thursday at TD Garden. “For me, as a coach having a player in that situation, I don’t think I could have it any better. I’m obviously attentive to his situation and making sure he gets his opportunity and not casting him aside because ‘We don’t know if you’re coming back,’ that sort of thing.”
The trade deadline is Feb. 25, and Simmonds, a prospective free agent this summer, is among the top NHL players on the market. In the last eight seasons, all with the Flyers, he has scored a total of 90 power-play goals, which is second in the NHL, behind only Alex Ovechkin (141).
“I have a lot of respect for Wayne, not only for what he’s done when I’ve been here, but what he’s done in the four years I’ve been part of the organization and obviously his entire career here,” Gordon said.
Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere missed his third straight game Thursday. He has a bruise that prevents him from pushing off, Gordon said.
Gordon originally thought Gostisbehere would be able to play Thursday or Saturday, against visiting Edmonton. He amended that after the morning skate, saying Gostisbehere would not be ready to play until sometime next week, either Monday against Vancouver or Thursday against Los Angeles.
Gostisbehere is plus-8 in his last six games.
The Flyers have recently started using a 1-3-1 forecheck in the neutral zone, switching from a 1-2-2. Defenseman Andrew MacDonald called it a work in progress, but he said it was getting better each game.
“I just felt we were giving up a lot off the rush. We weren’t confronting enough pucks on entries,” said Gordon, who also used the 1-3-1 with the Phantoms.