Wayne Simmonds has signed a lockout contract with ETC Crimmitschau, a team in Germany's 2nd Bundesliga, or the second-tier of pro hockey in the country. The team announced the signing on their website (in German) earlier Monday.
Simmonds is heading to Germany with St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart. The two were childhood friends growing up in Toronto and are now both represented by the same agent, Eustace King. Simmonds is expected to arrive in Germany on Tuesday and could be in the lineup for the club's next game on Friday.
The friendship seems to be part of the reason why Simmonds and Stewart have decided to play at such a low level of hockey in Europe during this lockout. Germany's top league is considered well below the level of competition of the KHL, Swedish Elitserien, Finland's SM-liiga and several other leagues, so you can only imagine how low on the totem pole Germany's second-tier sits.
But according to Andy Strickland, who covers the Blues, limits on how many foreigners a team may import would have prevented Simmonds and Stewart from playing together on the same team. How adorable. I'm sure the signings are just a way to stay in shape during the lockout anyway -- it's not as if the competition even necessarily matters. Either way, it should be pretty fun to see just how badly Simmonds and Stewart light it up for this team.
Simmer signed a six-year, $23.85 million contract extension with the Flyers just last month. Wonder how much he's paying to insure that thing in case he gets hurt overseas?