NHL All-Star Game 2017: Wayne Simmonds steals show, MVP honors in L.A.

It was fitting that this Hollywood return for Wayne Simmonds came with a happy ending.

The Flyers winger, originally drafted by the Kings, dazzled at Sunday’s NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles and, at times, outplayed superstar Metropolitan Division teammates Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin to win MVP honors at his old stomping grounds.

Simmonds scored three total goals, including the eventual game-winner in the final round against Connor McDavid and the Pacific Division, to capture the $1 million grand prize in his All-Star Game debut. He seemed at home under the bright lights of Staples Center. After all, it was there Simmonds established his NHL roots before blossoming into an All-Star after a trade to the Flyers in 2011.

Regrettably, there is a personal matter that requires my immediate attention that will force me to leave the team temporarily and miss the All-Star Game in Los Angeles, Tortorella said in a statement. This decision was not made lightly as representing the Columbus Blue Jackets is something I am very proud of, but it is the right decision for my family and I. I appreciate the support of our organization and the National Hockey League and my hope is to be back with the team next week.

Blue Jackets assistants Brad Larsen and Brad Shaw will handle head coaching duties in Tortorella’s absence.
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