A little more than 24 hours after the Kings and Dean Lombardi dealt the veteran left winger, Simon Gagne put one in the back of the net. How’s that for a healthy scratch, huh Coach Sutter? (Is what Gagne might have been thinking). There was little doubt that Simon Gagne had value when he was with the Kings, and could help a franchise. He contributed, albeit minimally on the ice, to a Stanley Cup Championship squad last year. But Gagne still found himself outside the glass in the 2013 season.
One afternoon you are frustrated that you were once again a healthy scratch against the Anaheim Ducks, 2 days later you are scoring your 1st goal of the season, 284th of your career, and your 260th goal in a Flyers uniform since you started your career there in Philadelphia in the 1999-00 season. That’s life for the re-transplanted Gagne.
The Kings players, General Manager, and whole organization is happy for Gagne. Lombardi did what he wanted, and found a place for Gagne where he can be happy and succeed. But it’s a little like an ex getting scooped up off the singles market very quickly. Gagne obviously is a desirable person, and the Flyers scooped him up.
As for the goal itself? It came 2:45 seconds into the 2nd period on a powerplay. He slammed home a nifty pass from former Kings prospect Braden Schenn (Watch Here) (Watch Here). The Gagne jerseys came out of retirement for the Philly fans, who actually cheered him back to the squad. Gagne joins Schenn and Wayne Simmonds on Kings’ East, and leaves Mike Richards and Jeff Carter on Flyers’ West back in LA.
It’s a shame the Kings couldn’t find a space for him, but it’s a good problem to have when the other pieces are filling in nicely; to the degree that which a capable veteran like Simon Gagne is on the outside looking in. He said what he is looking forward to the most is knowing what role he will play. He said of the Philly GM and Coach, “They told me what my role would be. As a player you need that.” That’s not a slam at the Kings organization, because things were different when he was brought aboard. They didn’t have a role for him, so they weren’t clear about one. But it’s good that Gagne is in a place to succeed, especially if it’s in the Eastern Conference.