It has been known for weeks that Flyers left-winger Simon Gagne was on his way out of Philadelphia. It was only a matter of when? That answer came Monday afternoon when Gagne was dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Gagne, 30, was sent South in return for defensemen Matt Walker and a 4th-round draft pick.
“This was a move to solidify our defense,” said GM Paul Holmgren. “Matt Walker is a right shot defenseman that we like; he brings size, grit and toughness to our backend. Simon Gagne played 10 seasons for the Flyers and was not only a good player for us, but also handled himself in a first class manner on and off the ice.”
Gagne, in the 10 years he spent wearing the #12 orange and black jersey, became of the most productive and popular players in the franchise’s history. He was always known as one of the top two-way players in the NHL.
He was the 22nd overall pick way back in 1998, and shortly became one of the top Flyers forwards they’ve seen in a long time.
Gagne played in 664 games for the Flyers. He is 10th on the team’s all-time list. He ranks ninth in team history in goals (259), 16th in assists (265) and 10th in points (524). Sometime in the future, expect Gagne to be inducted into the Flyers Hall-of-Fame.
Nobody will ever forget Gagne’s greatest moment as a Flyer. That moment came during the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals against his new team the Lightning. A Game 6 overtime tally that sent the Flyers to Game 7 in Tampa.
In 90 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Gagne recorded 32 goals and 15 assists for 47 points, ranking eighth all-time in Flyers playoff history in goals and tied for seventh in game-winning goals (6).
The two-time All-Star and two-time Bobby Clarke trophy winner as Flyers MVP, had combined for 88 goals in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and racked up six seasons of scoring 20+ goals.
After losing an entire season due to a concussion, Gagne has had a history of injuries to his groin, hip and shoulder throughout his years in Philadelphia.
He had a good final year in the orange and black recording 40 points (17G, 23A) and 12 points (9G,3A) in 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help lead the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final.
The left-winger scored the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Boston to give the Flyers a 5-4 win, as well as the game-winner in Game 7 of the series to give the Flyers the victory.
Gagne was about to enter the final year of his five-year, $26.25 million contract he signed in 2006. His cap hit was set to be $5.25 mill and one the Flyers couldn’t afford to keep.
Although, I don’t think the Flyers are quite finished with the dealing process, this one will hurt the hearts of Flyers fans for some time.