I wouldn't call him physical. He's at his best when he's willing to forecheck aggressively and be a little physical, but his game isn't exactly predicated upon it. When he's hurt he tends to shy away from the boards, IMO.
As a native Philadelphian and die-hard Flyers fan, I actually would like for Simon to play for Montreal. If we can't have him, it only makes sense that he play for his home team and inevitably torture us in the games we play against him. The Flyers would deserve it, like a reverse LeClair/Desjardins curse. As hockey fans, you guys will truly appreciate his game, even if he spends time on the injury list. He may have lost a step, but he's still awesome.
There is no formal Simon Gagne trade news today, so the reflections on a sometimes-brilliant, oft-injured, decade-long, no-championship career in Philadelphia will be put on ice for another edition.
He will be traded this summer, there is no doubt about that, but when, to whom and for what remains a gripping secret that intensifies the curiosity with each passing day.
However, what is starting to become clearer through the haze of an oppressive heat wave that is overshadowing a slow and short NHL offseason (training camp is just 72 days away) in Philadelphia is the picture of what the Flyers plan to do with Gagne, the money they’ll save by unloading him and in the process, a restructured roster for another run at Lord Stanley’s Cup next spring.
Let’s start with the basics shall we?
First, the facts: the Flyers asked Gagne to waive his no trade clause. Gagne agreed. There was no predetermined trade in the works between the Flyers and another team, although several teams did inquire about Gagne’s availability prior to him being asked to waive.
Since Gagne agreed, the Flyers have given him and his agent Bob Sauve time to hunt around for teams that might be interested, and to compile a list of teams the Flyers could try to work out a deal with.
The odds on favorite from the jump was the Los Angeles Kings. Never mind their general manager (Dean Lombardi) and assistant G.M. (Ron Hextall) both arrived in Hollywood after serving stints in Flyers’ management, but the move would make sense.
The Kings failed to land their prime free agent target Ilya Kovalchuk, and seem like they’re going to also come up short in re-signing one of their better scoring forwards in unrestricted free agent Alexander Frolov.
With expectations on the rise in the city of angels, Lombardi and Hextall can’t sit idly by.
If they don’t at least replace Frolov, they’ll be taking a step backward. Gagne makes sense on so many levels.
1. Since they have the cap room they can afford Gagne’s $5.25 million salary, even if he’s probably worth a bit less than that (a Flyers source said the team would never have thought about moving Gagne if he were making in the neighborhood of $3 million).
2. Gagne has only one year left on his deal, so the Kings could either re-sign him after the season is up at a more palatable dollar figure, or let him go in free agency and reacquire the cap room.
3. He likely would come relatively cheaply as the Flyers are more interested in creating cap room than getting tremendous value in return. That’s not to say they’ll give him away, but they’ll view the Gagne trade as the stepping stone to two other players – more on that in a minute.
Yet, while the Kings make so much sense, there was a report out of L.A. that they weren’t interested in Gagne. Then yesterday they seemed to backtrack a bit and, in an ESPN report, said they might be back in the mix.
A league source told the Daily Times that he expected the Kings to get serious about Gagne and would be surprised if they stayed out of it. That source also indicated that among the teams that expressed interest to Sauve are Tampa Bay, Dallas and Montreal.
I'm talking about what was said in that rds "blog"... Gagne told people he was pretty much traded (to either Montreal, LA, or Toronto) and that it will be announced tomorrow... Seems kinda weird that no one else reported that, no?
The blog mentions Montreal-Toronto-L.A. but it seems to be a suggestion from the blogger himself since he said Gagne couldn't give his destination. Another poster mentioned Stephane Turcot, a Quebec City reporter, predicting Tampa Bay or L.A. as Gagne's destination.