A fan favorite is returning to the city of brotherly love. The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired forward Simon Gagne from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a conditional draft pick. The trade comes in the middle of a struggling season for the Flyers in which they have gone a disappointing 9-11-1 and currently sit outside of a playoff spot. The 32 year old Gagne has struggled mightily with the Kings this year, only notching 5 assists in 11 games played.
The latest Philadelphia Flyer had a hard time fitting in with the Los Angeles Kings as an injury limited him to just 34 games played in the 2011-2012 regular season. Even when he was healthy, he suffered from inconsistency and only managed a mere 17 points on the year. Despite his difficulties, Gagne did manage to win his first Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2012. The injury he suffered during the regular season, however, kept Gagne out of all playoff games except the Stanley Cup Final where he played in 4 games. The forward failed to make an impact though as he went pointless and was a minus one.
Gagne spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Flyers where he played in 664 regular-season games and put up 528 points. He scored 259 goals in his previous stint with the Flyers and will look to recreate some of that magic in the 2013 season. Gagne was a key contributor to the Flyers 2010 run to the Stanley Cup Final where he scored 9 times in 19 playoff games. His best season in the NHL came in 2005-2006 with the Flyers where he lit the lamp 47 times and notched 79 points overall in just 72 games played. The Broad Street Bullies traded him to the Tampa Bay Lightning in July 2010 in a move believed to have been done to get under the salary cap. The Kings would sign him a year later.
The trade occurs during an injury ridden season for the Philadelphia Flyers where they have recently lost forward Matt Read with a rib-cage injury and forward Tye McGinn with an eye injury. It is unclear where Gagne will fit in the depth chart but with an already solid top 6 of Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Jakub Voracek, Daniel Briere, Brayden Schenn, and Wayne Simmonds, it is likely Gagne will play on the third line and get some second unit power-play time. Gagne will likely play alongside Sean Couturier on that third line and should help get the youngster going offensively. Couturier has struggled at times in his second NHL campaign while fellow sophomores Brayden Schenn and Matt Read have excelled. Couturier only has 7 points in 19 games on the year and is a minus 6.
The veteran Gagne is a seven-time 20-goal scorer and has a 3.5 million salary for the season. He will be a free agent this summer. The Kings will get a third-round pick if Philly makes the playoffs or a fourth-round pick if the Flyers miss the post-season.