View Single Post
Old
06-09-2006, 03:24 PM
  #43
BobbyClarkeFan16
Registered User
 
BobbyClarkeFan16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: London Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 8,042
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedifr
This is along the lines of what I was thinking. I feel he is an elite forward in this league, albeit a different type player then an Elias, Kovalchuk, etc. Gagne is not a superstar sniper like these aforementioned players, he is a superstar two way, well rounded player in my mind. Off the top of my head I cant think of another player that has his level of ability on both ends of the ice. (other then Forsberg and Zetterberg in a couple years) If I am missing any, there are only a few. He certainly is top 3-5 in terms of two way player in the league.
That's fine and dandy and all, but last time I checked, you win the game by scoring more than your opponent. Gagne has the ability to be up there with an Elias and a Kovalchuk. His offensive game is THAT good. It's like there's something that keeps him from achieving greatness. That's what bugs me. He's the total package in terms of skill. But the question is does he want to be great or is he just content with being good? And it seems with Gagne, he's content with being good. There's no extra drive from Simon. So yeah, he'll always put up decent numbers, but you can see from him that he can do better. That's what's frustrating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedifr
I think the problem people have with Gagne is that people complain too much about what he doesnt do (needs to be more "selfish", leadership, etc.) rather then appreciating the great player that he is, typical negadelphia.
No. My problem with Gagne is that he can do more than what he's capable of. I've watched Simon play junior hockey and have watched his NHL career and he's capable of doing more. Maybe, just like Justin Williams, Philadelphia isn't the place to get the best out of Gagne. I can appreciate the fact that Gagne is great two way defender, but if you take a look at our team, great two way players are a dime a dozen. We need someone to be a sniper and be an offensive machine. Gagne has the ability to be said player, but just doesn't seem to want to be that guy. That's what bugs me. The ability is there, but the heart and the head just aren't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedifr
Gagne has great hockey sense, knows how to get in to open areas of the ice, takes a lot of shots on goal, is tremendous defensively, works hard on the ice all the time, plays in all situations, PP, PK, even strength, at the end of the game. What people never seem to take into account, and why I think some complain is that he is not the type of player that will skate down the ice, deke around the defense and score a "sportscenter" goal. He is a player that gets himself open and needs a playmaker on his line (i.e. Forsberg, Zhamnov, Recchi, etc). That is not a knock to Gagne, he is what he is. There have been many elite players like this before him. How many goals would Brett Hull have scored without the likes of Adam Oates passing him the puck? Luc Robitaille with Gretzky passing him the puck, etc. LeClair, Cam Neely, I can name many. He scored 33 goals in the "old NHL" when Recchi was still an elite playmaker. The line with them and Primeau just clicked. It was never able to get that chemistry again for whatever reason and then Gagne battled injuries for two years
What you also fail to take into consideration Mike is that during the 33 goal year in the "old NHL", the coach wasn't Hitch. The coach was Barber. At that point, Gagne was well on the way to progressing to become that offensive player, the sniper the team needed. Then Hitch took over........

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedifr
Trying to say that Hitch ruined him, tried to make him a 3rd liner, etc is complete bull. The team was relying on Recchi, Roenick, LeClair, etc. for the offense. I keep seeing complaints of him playing with Primeau the last couple years. You know what? That was who he worked best with. The centers here at any given point over the last couple years were Primeau, Roenick, Handzus, Zhamnov. Gagne never clicked with Roenick, it was tried numerous times. They are too similar. Handzus was always too slow to play with him in my opinion and he worked great with Zhamnov the short period of time he played with him. You cant just throw pieces together and expect them to work all the time. Hitch did the best with the players he was given.
No, saying Hitch tried to ruin Gagne isn't bull because for Simon's first two years in Philadelphia, he was used extensively on the third line. His first year I'll give it up to injury, but the second year, Gagne should have been on one of the top two lines in Philadelphia. Yet, Gagne gets bumped to the third to check. A 24 year old winger who has scored 33 goals in the past is used on your third line to check. When he finally got paired with Zhamnov, Gagne starts scoring goals again. But what does Hitch do in his infinite wisdom? He splits Gagne and Zhamnov and puts Gagne back on Primeau's wing on the third line. The Third Line. The Checking Line. The 24 year old who has shown a knack for scoring goals in the past and Hitch puts him on the third line when this team lacks offense. Leclair wasn't scoring at the time, Amonte wasn't scoring at the time, Roenick wasn't scoring at the time, yet the best they can do with Gagne is put him on the checking line. Tell me how Hitch didn't try ruining Gagne's career? And don't say that he was making Gagne better defensively, because if you take a look at Gagne's plus minus during the Hitchcock years and compare it to the other coaches he played for, his plus minus was better under those other coaches. So, that disspells the notion that Gagne became a better player under Hitchcock. He became a better player because they finally bumped him off the third line and used him on the first line, where some of his skills could be really utilized.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedifr
If by a "selfish" player you are looking for someone to skate all the way down the ice without giving up the puck, making 30 moves and scoring, he is not your guy. If you want a vocal, rah rah kind of guy, he is not your guy. Who knows exactly who has leadership skills in the locker room, we will never know for sure.
By selfish, instead consistently sacrificing himself or any play or chance he has at a goal to set up a teammate that might not score, just take the chance from now on. As well, if Gagne is being used on the penalty kill, maybe try being a bit more aggressive instead of just standing around waving the stick back and forth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedifr
If you want one of the top LWs in the game with elite hockey sense, elite defensive skills, elite goal scoring ability when paired with the type of players he needs to play with, then you have your man.
Elite left wingers are Kovalchuk, Ovechkin, Elias, Heatley, Bergeron, Naslund, Iginla. Gagne, while a good player, is nowhere near any of those guys in terms of what they bring to the table. That's not to slam Gagne. Those guys listed all have something that Gagne doesn't have....mental toughness. Take a look at Kovalchuk and Ovechkin. They've brought skill onboard to mediocre teams and made them better than what they really should have been. Elias was the one guy who singlehandedly turned around the season in New Jersey. Heatley became the top left winger the Senators needed. Bergeron became a leader in Boston in his second season. Naslund fell off this season, but in seasons prior, he was always the top dog in Vancouver. Iginla also carried that Flames team on his shoulders in terms of offensive production. What has Gagne done compared to those guys? Well, he was league leader in goals scored during 5 on 5. Did he lead the Flyers deep into the playoffs? Nope. Did he lead a mediocre team to a playoff spot? Nope. Did he singlehandedly turn around a season for a team which was floundering? Nope. Gagne just does enough and that's it. How about for once in his career, he puts his heart behind something and goes for it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedifr
I guess I do feel that he is undercredited in some ways.
I don't think Simon is undercredited at all. He's been given every opportunity to excel and there always seems to be something off in his play. People point to that and say that he's reached his ceiling, but I think there's something else that affects Gagne's play and I really think it's a mental thing. If he can't get over the hump and start delivering when this team needs it, he's gotta go. And no, he needs to deliver offensively. Gagne isn't be paid big bucks to stop the puck, he's being paid the big bucks to score.

BobbyClarkeFan16 is offline   Reply With Quote