Simmonds steals show, MVP honours in NHL All-Star game
It was fitting that this Hollywood return for Wayne Simmonds came with a happy ending.
Philadelphia Flyers winger Simmonds - originally drafted by the Kings - dazzled in Sunday's NHL All-Star game in Los Angeles and, at times, outplayed superstar Metropolitan Division team-mates Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin to win MVP honours at his old stomping grounds.
Simmonds scored three goals, including the eventual game-winner in the final round of the 4-3 victory against Connor McDavid and the Pacific Division, to capture the $1million grand prize in his All-Star Game debut.
He seems 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.
"It was unbelievable," Simmonds told NBC Sports. "Probably one of the best days of my life. I've had a blast with these guys."
His signature play came in the Metropolitan's first game, a 10-6 victory over the Atlantic Division, when Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson misplayed a puck at the blue line and Simmonds picked his pocket. The power forward lumbered on for a partial breakaway, deking Carey Price for a highlight-reel goal.
Simmonds, who won a brand new 2017 Honda Ridgeline for his efforts, said he was "dumbfounded" to be on the ice for the All-Star Game with Wayne Gretzky on the bench as the replacement head coach for John Tortorella.
The 28-year-old leads the Flyers with 21 goals this season.