Even a Penguin was happy to see a Flyer earn MVP honors


LOS ANGELES — For one “quick moment,” Sidney Crosby allowed himself to be happy for a Philadelphia Flyer.

Perhaps it helped that Wayne Simmonds, the 2017 All-Star Game MVP, helped Crosby, the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, pocket part of the $1 million prize for winning the 3-on-3 tournament.

Both players, normally fierce rivals, were members of the triumphant Metropolitan Division squad.

“It’s funny, it’s going to be a quick turnaround here and we’ll be playing against him and it’ll be heated,” said Crosby. “We’ll be in scrums in a few days, but I think we all share the way we love playing the game, we love being a part of this, so it was great to see him do well. Things will go back to normal in a few days.”

Simmonds was a popular player Sunday at Staples Center, an arena he used to call home when he played for the Kings. He said it meant a lot to hear the crowd’s support after all those years away.

“I haven’t been here for six years,” he said. “When I was traded I was 22 years old, and I’m 28 now. I’ve been in Philly for the last six years. When you leave a place you don’t expect to come back and get the kind of cheers you did today.”

He added that it was “pretty surreal” to be named MVP, joining a list that includes the likes of Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, and Mario Lemieux.

“I don’t even know if I realize what is going on right now,” said Simmonds, “but it’s pretty cool.”