EuroVision: Wayne Simmonds back to Toronto

EuroVision: Highlights, notes, tweets and photos from across the pond — where the lockout doesn’t quite translate

The target of racist jeers in a Czech league game last month, Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds departed his Liberec club and returned to the Toronto area “for family reasons,” USA Today reported Wednesday night.

The silver lining, if there is one to be found in this embarrassment, is the swiftness with which the perpetrators have been dealt with.

Eight Chumutov fans will be charged with disorderly conduct and defamation of nation, race or ethnic group, reported Wednesday. If convicted, they could face a prison sentence as long as three years.

Simmonds’ close friend, St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart, also left Liberec this week. He rejoined the Crimmitschau Ice Pirates in Germany’s teir-2 league, citing a lack of ice time.

“I believe at the end of the day, you will modify people’s behaviour in the future by how swiftly the team, league and town responds, and I think (Czechs) did a phenomenal job of addressing the issue,” player agent Eustace King, who represents both Simmonds and Stewart, told USA Today. “They were clearly upset with how their fan base was being portrayed. I respect what they have done.

“I don’t want to say (Simmonds and Stewart’s departure) didn’t have anything to do (with the racial taunts),” King went on. “It was a bunch of things that added up. Whether it was an incident that happened on the ice, a coaching staff change, the language barrier… it was a bunch of things that eventually led players to the feeling they would be better off in a different spot.”

Although his Magnitogorsk lost a 3-2 OT heartbreaker to Avangard, Evgeni Malkin — No. 1 in our overseas power rankings — comes up with a huge sliding kick save to bail out his netminder.

Worth a watch. Cue up the highlights at the 47-second mark:

Was the No. 99 a monkey on Nicklas Backstrom’s back?

The guy switches to No. 69 and goes off with a hat trick in Moscow Dynamo’s 4-3 victory over Vityaz on Wednesday. Please, watch 69′s overtime winner from 99′s office. So Gretzky-like:

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov has been playing brilliant hockey in the K.

The Lokomotiv keeper led his club to its sixth W in a row by shutting out Slovan 4-0.

Varlamov is now first in the KHL in save percentage (.948) and second in the league with a 1.75 goals-against average.

Another crease-wandering fail by Pekka Rinne:

Avalanche forward Paul Stastny is set to join Munich in Germany’s top pro league, reports USA Today.

Anaheim Ducks defenceman Cam Fowler, 20, confirmed to the Orange County Register that he has signed with second-tier pro team Sodertajle in Sweden.

“It’s been something that I’ve been interested in for at least a few weeks now,” Fowler told the paper Wednesday hopping on his international flight. “There’s been some other opportunities that have kind of come my way before but they just didn’t end up happening.”

Washington Capitals forward Jason Chimera has signed with the now-infamous HC Chomutov of the Czech league, reports the Washington Post. He joins Chicago Blackhawks forward Michael Frolik and New York Islanders defenceman Milan Jurcina on the team. Chimera played 15 games for Italy’s Varese HC during the 2004-05 lockout.

Soon joining the conga line of NHLers heading overseas could be Chicago Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews.

“It’s always on my mind,” the captain told the Chicago Tribune
Wednesday, following an informal workout with NHL players. “We’ll see what happens the next couple of weeks. We’re really getting to that point where enough is enough and if nothing happens, then decisions have to be made. We’ve hung tight long enough, so we’ll see.”

Highlights from the KHL debut of Joffrey Lupul, who saw plenty of ice time in Wednesday’s loss:

But there will be no Lupul highlights from his team’s next contest:

Los Angeles Kings defenceman Alec Martinez tweets a health report after taking a slap shot to the face in Finland:

What Biel’s Tyler Seguin and Patrick Kane won’t do to sell the game in Switzerland… wow.