Wayne Simmonds Ruled Out Versus Florida

Credit to NHL.com

Credit to NHL.com

By Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky)

Despite returning to practice on Wednesday, the Philadelphia Flyers will be without forward Wayne Simmonds for Thursday night’s contest against the Florida Panthers. Flyers inside reporter Anthony SanFilippo initally reported that Simmonds was “doubtful” for the game, but Philadelphia Inquirer beat writer Frank Seravalli has reported the 24 year old is officially ruled out.

Simmonds has been suffering from the effects of a concussion after being hit with an inadvertent elbow to the face by John Erskine in a game against the Washington Capitals less than a week ago. Erskine served a 3 game suspension for the hit, and has personally apologized to Simmonds.

The Ontario native took the ice for the first time on Wednesday at Flyers practice in Voorhees, New Jersey, donning a yellow “no-contact” jersey. Although Simmonds told the press he felt good, he was unaware whether or not he would take the ice against the Panthers. However, the medical staff has decided to ere on the caution, and Simmonds will miss his third game of the season.

After some rearranging of lines by head coach Peter Laviolette, the right winger vaulted up to the first line, and has made a great impact. His ability to wreak havoc in front of the net has netted him two goals, and he has three assists as well. In his absence, Philadelphia has used young gun Tye McGinn to fill a role very similar to Simmonds, and the move seems to be paying dividends for the team.

Notes: The Panthers have scratched Keaton Ellerby in favor of Erik Gudbranson, who will be making his season debut. Florida will also be without Scottie Upshall, who injured his ankle in a fight last week. Ilya Bryzgalov will start in net for Philadelphia on Thursday.

Jake Pavorsky is a contributor to TheHockeyGuys.net. You can follow him on Twitter @JakePavorsky.

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