LOS ANGELES, California – Wayne Simmons scored the goal that broke the tie and earned him the title of All-star Game MVP during the NHL All-star Weekend.
The four-team division tournament format of wide-open hockey was introduced last season with the mid season revamped to the 3-on-3 format. While it can lead to weird hockey, the game’s biggest stars were able to punctuate beauty on the offensive end. Cam Atkinson of Columbus scored a tying puck for the Metropolitans five seconds earlier but Washington goalie Braden Holtby shielded the Pacific in the final 10 minutes. This secured the win for his 11-man gang, which will share the $1 million prize.
Then the moment came when Simmonds flipped the helmet of his former Los Angeles teammate right at the face-off then skated around to distract the defense man as he converted a pass from New Jersey’s Hall. This put the Metropolitan ahead for good and sealed the truck for him, a gift automatically awarded to the game’s MVP.
By scoring 38 points in their first 50 games, Simmonds, who is still well-liked in LA six yearsafter his trade to Philadelphia,is also in the midst of a potential career year with the Flyers.
Simmonds, who played for the Kings for three years, didn’t expect all the cheers he got but he certainly believes that he still has a lot of die-hard fans in LA. He said that thesepeople really made him feel good in the game and he was very appreciative of them.
There was more excitement when about 50 of the greatest players in NHL history lined up on the ice to shake hands with the current players during the introduction.This was followed by a ceremonial first puck drop by the greats for each of the 44 All-Stars. As for Wayne Simmonds, his performance in the All-star game is something he may never forget as it ended a long MVP drought for the Philadelphia franchise in the mid-season showcase.