Good morning from Los Angeles, where the league has converged for the 2017 NHL All-Star Weekend. A perfect SoCal weather weekend has been ordered up, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s both days. Not necessarily hockey weather, but nobody's complaining.
The festivities started off last night with the unveiling of the NHL's Top 100 Players at the Microsoft Theater, which is part of the NHL's Centennial celebration that will last throughout 2017. Congratulations are in order to Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, and Eric Lindros for making the prestigious group, as well as to several others with Flyers connections who were part of it - former captains Peter Forsberg and Chris Pronger were honored, as were Darryl Sittler, Paul Coffey, Jaromir Jagr, and Adam Oates.
Video: Bobby Clarke led Flyers to back-to-back Stanley Cups
Video: Bernie Parent backstopped Flyers to back-to-back Cups
Video: Eric Lindros had unique skill for power forward
Wayne Simmonds has an adventurous day ahead on the first day of the weekend, beginning with NHL press conferences at 1:30 PM Eastern time.
Then it's over to Staples Center to take in the NHL Celebrity Shootout, which features friend of the Flyers David Boreanaz.
The game starts at 5:15 Eastern and will be streamed on NHL.com. Then it's the Skills Competition, which gets underway at 7pm on NBCSN. Simmonds will be participating in the Skills Challenge and the Four Line Challenge for the Eastern Conference.
The Atlantic Division won a very evenly-matched Coors Light All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles, giving them their pick of the game schedule for Sunday's All-Star game.
The Metropolitan Division jumped out to an early lead in the evening's festivities, with Wayne Simmonds helping the cause in three separate events. The Atlantic and Metropolitan teams were tied at five points apiece after the first five events, but the Atlantic advanced on the tiebreaker of superior performance in the Hardest Shot event. The Atlantic then defeated the Pacific in the Discover NHL Shootout.
Contributions from Simmonds included a first-try one-timer from the sharpest angle of the three one-timer shots that helped the Metro win the Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay and pick up two points. He then put a puck into the lower corner of the net from center ice in the second round of the new Honda NHL Four-Line Challenge, picking up a point for his team.
Simmonds also participated in the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater event, but lost his heat to Vincent Trochek of Florida.
The attention now shifts to Sunday's Honda NHL All-Star Game. As the winning division, the Atlantic elected to play the second game and chose to face the Metropolitan Division. The Pacific Division will take on the Central Division in the first game. The event gets underway at 3:30 Eastern time on NBC.
Video: Hear from Wayne following day 1 at the NHL All Star