Video: Simmonds talks about being named an All-Star
Before becoming a fan favorite in Philadelphia with his work ethic and tenacity on the ice, Wayne Simmonds started his NHL career in Los Angeles. Now he'll get to return to where it all started, only he'll do so as an NHL All-Star.
Simmonds will represent the Flyers at the 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend at Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 28 & 29. He was among the top vote-getters in the Metropolitan Division and will be part of that team in the second year of the division-based All-Star format.
"I'm pretty shocked," Simmonds said. "I think we have a lot of great players on this team and to be the guy chosen to represent the Flyers organization, it's pretty special. There's such a long list of All-Stars that play on this team and a lot of tradition, so it means a lot."
Simmonds leads the Flyers in goals this year and is among the NHL's goal-scoring leaders with 17 over 42 games, and has added 15 assists for a total of 32 points. He's been particularly dangerous on the power play, where he's tied for third in the league with several players, including Brayden Schenn, with eight PPG.
"I attribute everything to my teammates," Simmonds said. "Without them, there's no me. It's not a one-man game. It's all about team and that's the way we try to go about it in the Flyers locker room and without any of these guys it wouldn't be possible. I'm honored to be the team representative and just want to make the boy proud."
Simmonds came to the Flyers in June 2011 on a day that shook up the entire organization, with him and Schenn coming to the Flyers from Los Angeles and Jake Voracek coming in from Columbus. In 2014, Voracek returned to Columbus to represent the Flyers at the All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena, and now Simmonds gets the same opportunity to do it where his own career started.
"It's pretty cool," Simmonds said. "Jakey got to do it with Columbus being an All-Star there. This is my first time being an All-Star and to represent the Flyers in Los Angeles where I came from and originally played is pretty special for me."
Simmonds heard all the great things about the new All-Star format last year, and is excited to get a chance to experience it himself.
"Honestly, I have no expectations. I'm just going to have fun time with it to get a chance to hang out with different guys from around the league and I'm just really excited."