Nov 26, 2012, 2:04 PM EDT
Wayne Simmonds insists the racist chants directed his way while playing in the Czech Extraliga weren’t the reason he left his team.
“It wasn’t me itching to come back,” Simmonds told Philly.com about severing ties with the Liberec White Tigers. “I had to come home.
“I had stuff I had to deal with.”
When news of his departure broke, the official line was that Simmonds left Liberec for family reasons. The Flyers winger didn’t elaborate on what those issues were, but did confirm everything at home is now “fine.”
Simmonds left in mid-November, on the same day eight Chomutov fans were arrested for yelling “Opice” — “monkey” in English — during a game on Oct. 31.
Simmonds’ agent, Eustace King, told USA Today that while the taunts weren’t the sole reason for Simmonds leaving the Czech Republic, they did play a part.
“I don’t want to say it didn’t have anything to do [with the racial taunts],” King explained. “But it was a bunch of things that added up.”
Here’s more on that situation, from Yahoo!’s Nick Cotsonika:
The Czechs were embarrassed. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say they had the absolute best intentions. As defenseman Ladislav Smid said then, they didn’t want to make Simmonds feel uncomfortable. But their silence might have made him feel more uncomfortable.
Simmonds later told Smid he should have told him.
The 24-year-old said his plan is to settle in his native Toronto and skate with a group of players in the area.
He isn’t ruling out a return to Europe, however.
May 23, 2013, 8:02 AM EDT
Additionally, the Chicago will play Detroit and the Kings will host Sharks.
May 23, 2013, 7:13 AM EDT
Thursday’s collection of links
May 23, 2013, 12:50 AM EDT
They rank first and second in shorthanded goals in the 2013 playoffs.
May 23, 2013, 12:14 AM EDT
It initially made it look like he suffered an injury.
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Trent Whitfield has now been on the wrong end of history twice.
May 22, 2013, 10:59 PM EDT
John Tortorella would be proud.
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The Penguins “have too much depth.”
May 22, 2013, 10:15 PM EDT
Ottawa’s strong first period was wasted.
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He’s been reaching out to agents and players.
May 22, 2013, 8:20 PM EDT
Mike Halford and Jason Brough tackle that question.
May 22, 2013, 7:58 PM EDT
He also wants to express his gratitude to the Vancouver Canucks.
May 22, 2013, 7:17 PM EDT
Beau Bennett and Jussi Jokinen have been inserted into the lineup.
May 22, 2013, 7:04 PM EDT
Two swift playoff exits sunk the Canucks’ coach.
May 22, 2013, 6:16 PM EDT
His career has gone downhill since being part of the Hodgson trade.
May 22, 2013, 5:53 PM EDT
Vancouver’s Alain Vigneault joins the fray.
May 22, 2013, 5:18 PM EDT
“As long as they keep winning here, that just gives me a better chance for a return with every win.”
May 22, 2013, 4:20 PM EDT
“Will we look at them? Absolutely.”
May 22, 2013, 3:50 PM EDT
Pittsburgh’s power play is just 1-for-12 in its past two games.
May 22, 2013, 3:48 PM EDT
Vancouver cleans house.
May 22, 2013, 3:31 PM EDT
Decent goaltending depth in Anaheim at the moment.
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