Wayne Simmonds enjoyed his stints in the Czech Republic and Germany during the lockout, but it was still a big adjustment for him.
“It’s a different game completely,” Simmonds said in a CSNPhilly report.
In the European leagues he played for, he found that fighting was less common, but “guys take more liberties.”
The Philadelphia Flyers winger has made his living in the NHL as a physical forward and felt he needed to take a stand to prevent his opponents from taking cheap shots. Before he did that, he said his opponents would grab onto his jersey and frequently obstruct him.
“You’ve got to stand up for yourself and make a statement early on,” Simmonds said. “They pretty much left me alone after that.”
Simmonds had six points and 16 penalty minutes in six games with Liberec Bili Tygri HC of the Czech league and another 14 points and 35 PIM in nine contests with Crimmitschau ETC of Germany’s second-tier league.
Now that the lockout is over, he’ll begin his second season with the Philadelphia Flyers after scoring a career-high 28 goals in 2011-12.