Wayne Simmonds did something last night that, as far as we can tell, he’s never done in an NHL game: wear a visor. He’s doing so here in the preseason at the behest of general manager Ron Hextall, who apparently wants to make sure Simmonds stays safe in those high traffic areas of the ice he often frequents.
Here’s Wayne’s back-and-forth with the media after Tuesday’s preseason game in Philadelphia on the topic of his new face protection:
Wayne, does the shield seem to affect your shooting much?
“No, it was all right. It was the first time I’ve worn one of those in five or six years so it took a little bit of adjusting. All in all, it was a good performance tonight by the team.”
I expect your mom and your girlfriend were ones to appreciate it?
“Everyone is all over me about it. It’s way more than just two people.
Is it experimental or do you think you’ll stick with it?
“I don’t know. We’ll see what happens. It wasn’t too bad tonight. I think the only thing for me tonight was trying to track pucks in the sky when you’re getting the glare from the lights, so it’s a little bit of an adjustment.”
What was the last thing that pushed you to start wearing it?
So, it wasn’t mom?
“No, not a chance. Ron Hextall gave me a call.”
A lot of that has to do with the kind of game you play though.
“Yeah, I think so, being that front guy and then doing a little work on the PK tonight and getting your sticks in lanes and stuff like that. The game was really fast tonight. There were a lot of pucks that got deflected and sometimes you don’t know where they’re going and you can’t react to them. The shield is good for that.”
What’s the game plan if something happens out there and the gloves drop?
“Everyone else wears a shield, right? So every time I fight someone, they’ve got a shield on so I guess I’m at a disadvantage. It evens it up then.”