Simon Gagne Returns to Philadelphia

In 664 games with the Flyers, LW Simon Gagne had 259 goals and 265 assists in ten seasons.

In 664 games with the Flyers, LW Simon Gagne had 259 goals and 265 assists in ten seasons.

The Philadelphia Flyers already brought back two former players this season, and today they added a third former star. The Flyers traded a conditional fourth round draft pick to the Los Angeles Kings to acquire LW Simon Gagne. Gagne was drafted 22nd overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the Flyers, and played 10 seasons in Philadelphia from 1999-2000 to 2009-2010. He was traded to Tampa Bay in 2010 for Matt Walker and a draft pick, then signed a two year contract with the Los Angeles Kings in 2011, winning his first Stanley Cup this past season. Gagne, goalie Brian Boucher, and winger Mike Knuble all rejoined the Flyers this season.

Gagne was a fan favorite in Philadelphia, known for his speed and offensive abilities. He scored 20 goals in his rookie season, and scored 30 or more goals four times in Philadelphia, including a 47-goal season in 2005-06. He is perhaps better known for his clutch scoring in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 2004, Gagne netted an overtime winner against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals to keep the Flyers alive. More recently, Gagne scored the overtime winner in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2010 against the Boston Bruins. And the left winger forever surmounted his legacy in Philadelphia by scoring the deciding goal in Game 7 of that same series, capping an incredible comeback from three games down.

Gagne is a bit older and more susceptible to injury than he was during his prime years with the Flyers. He suffered a concussion that ended his season in 2008 after just 25 games, and another in December 2011. Gagne was out until the Stanley Cup Finals, where he played four games but did not score a point. In 11 games with Los Angeles this season, Gagne has no goals and five assists. Gagne returns to a team decimated by injuries and inconsistency this season. The Flyers have recently surged into the top ten in goals scored, but also lost center Matt Read for six weeks with a rib injury. Gagne will fill a hole for the Flyers and provide much needed veteran leadership. Joining farmiliar names like Danny Briere, Claude Giroux, and Mike Knuble in the lineup, Gagne could help the struggling Flyers get back on track.

Gagne is in the second year of his contract, earning $3.5 million this season. He will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

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One Response to Simon Gagne Returns to Philadelphia

  1. Pingback: A Sense of Community Abounds at Flyers Wives Carnival | Front Office Sports

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