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At the Rink blog

Former roommates likely to collide

Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 1:08 PM

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Former roommates likely to collide
While most of the attention for tonight's game is focused on Kings center Mike Richards and his return to Philadelphia, there is another side to that trade -- former King Wayne Simmonds, who has moved into a top-six forward role with Philadelphia, and has earned a spot on the top power-play unit, will face his former team for the first time.

The previous two seasons, Simmonds shared a home with defenseman Drew Doughty, and the two became very close friends. Doughty said he's looking forward to seeing a lot of his former roommate on the ice tonight.

While it won't be the first time the pair have faced off -- Doughty's Guelph Storm and Simmonds' Belleville Bulls were frequent opponents in the Ontario Hockey League -- it will be a bit different this time because of their relationship.

"We have that friendship that we developed over three years playing together," Doughty told NHL.com, "but I played against him in the OHL so I know how gritty and how tough he is to play against. I'm not really looking forward to playing against him, but there's no friends on the ice. I'm sure we won't be afraid to take a couple runs at each other. … We're not going to try to hurt each other, but if he gives me a shot, I'm going to make sure I give him a shot."

Doughty said while it was rough to see his friend head east, he said the return -- Richards, an All-Star and Olympic gold medalist who captained the Flyers to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final -- made it a bit easier to take.

"When he got traded I was pretty disappointed, but getting Richy (Richards) is huge for us," said Doughty. "He makes us a lot better team. The trade is good for both parties. Obviously we miss him, but I think picking up Richy was huge."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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