Stewart, Simmonds Sign in Germany
It’s been several years since best friends Chris Stewart and Wayne Simmonds have played on the same team. Both currently play with the St. Louis Blues and the Philadelphia Flyers, respectively, and are now about to take their game to Germany.
Both players have signed with Eispiraten Crimmitschau GmbH in Germany’s second division otherwise known as Bundesleague of Germany. Stewart and Simmonds had options to play in the Elite league but with restrictions on how many imports a team can have on their roster it prevented the flexibility to sign with the same club.
This gives both players a chance to experience playing together while pushing one another at the same time. They were both invited to represent Canada at the World Championships a few years ago before an injury sidelined Simmonds while playing with the Los Angeles Kings.
Neither player has any incentive financially to sign a contract in Europe but both see the advantage of being in a competitive environment. Simmonds for example is coming off of a career year which earned him a long-term extension worth close to $24 million. Stewart signed a one year, $3 million extension this summer and has two 28-goal seasons on his resume. They’ve spent the summer training together in Toronto with Matt Nichol of BioSteel. Stewart has seen a significant reduction in body fat and might be in the best shape of his career.
Los Angeles based agent Eustace King represents both players and has sent several clients overseas. He recently did the same with Jared Spurgeon and Tyler Ennis who happen to be best friends as well. Chris’s brother, Anthony Stewart, is expected to sign in Europe over the next few days with England being a likely destination.
Chris Stewart and Simmonds leave for Germany tonight.
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