April 11, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds (17) talks to referee Mike Leggo (3) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in game one of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Philadelphia Flyers won 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

NHL Player Receives European Welcome

March 26, 2012; Philadelphia, PA USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds (17) skates past Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson (30) during the second period at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers took the route that many NHL players and traveled to Europe for the duration of the lockout.  However, everything hasn’t gone so smoothly as he would have wished.  Wayne Simmonds has spent the lockout with Liberec of the Czech League, scoring four goals and six points in six games.

During a road trip, playing rival Chomutov in October, some fans began chanting “Opice! Opice!” (“monkey”) towards Simmonds, an African American.  Several of these fans now face jail time.  Eight fans are being charged with the incident and will go to court in early January.  They could be facing up to three years in prison.

Simmonds has since returned to Canada.  He cited family reasons for his return, but I believe the incident could be a part of it.

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Tags: NHL Philadelphia Flyers Wayne Simmonds

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