He never won a varsity men’s hockey crown when he played for the St. Francis Xavier X-Men in the Atlantic University Sport, and the Herder Memorial Trophy has eluded his grasp during his senior hockey career with three different teams.
He’s hoping his luck is going to change.
He has a chance to win his first coveted championship trophy next week with the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts of the Central West Senior Hockey League.
The Cataracts, the 2016 CWSHL champions, will represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2017 Allan Cup being staged in Bouctouche, N.B., from April 10-15.
The Allan Cup is a piece of silverware dear to the hearts of senior hockey players from coast to coast. It is awarded annually to the best amateur senior hockey team in the country, over the years the champion being declared through various different tournament formats.
It’s a tough tournament to earn your way to, let alone win. Newfoundland and Labrador has done it on only two occasions in the history of the tournament, and it has always been viewed as one of the best senior hockey circuits in the country.
None of this is lost on Simms, so he’s thankful for the opportunity.
“Having only won two Allan Cups just goes to show the kind of competition that’s at the Allan Cup,” Simms said. “It’s not an easy championship to win, but I’m excited about playing and I’m going to do what I can to help bring the Allan Cup to Grand Falls-Windsor this year.”
The Cataracts have won a handful of Herders in the past decade, so they know a thing or two about winning, but they haven’t been able to deliver on the national stage just yet.
“I think we’re a hungry team,” he said. “The majority of the guys who are going have gone to the Allan Cup before and they’ve won Herders, so that just makes them much more hungrier to win a championship.
“With the uncertainty of senior hockey in Newfoundland you never know, this may be the last shot in a while so it just adds that extra motivation to the team that is going this year,” he added.
Allan Cup champion has a ring to it that he likes.