The Gagne era comes to an end in Philly

This article can be found published on Chicks Who Give A Puck.
After 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Simon Gagne says goodbye as he is traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

After 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Simon Gagne says goodbye as he is traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Flyers fans knew it was coming. They just didn’t know when it would happen or to where. July 19 has officially become a day of sorrow in Philadelphia. Simon Gagne, the longest tenured Flyer on the team, was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in return for Matt Walker and a fourth-round pick in 2011.

Gagne was a huge part of the reason the Flyers made the historic comeback in the second round of the playoffs against the Boston Bruins. He returned from a foot injury and scored the overtime game-winning goal in Game 4 to give the team the momentum they rode all the way into the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Flyers were strapped against the cap and with the move of Gagne, they freed up $1,052,737. The space could be used for another move. As it stands, the Flyers now have a full 23-man roster with 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goalies.

The move also allows Paul Holmgren some room to negotiate with Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux, two restricted free agents in 2011, and Ville Leino, an unrestricted free agent in 2011.

Walker brings an element of size and strengthens a defense that was exposed during the playoffs. Walker’s contract is three years worth $1.7 million per year.

The addition of Gagne gives the Lightning the ability to boast two lines great lines. Imagine a top line of Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Gagne? And then a second line of Steven Stamkos, Steve Downie and Ryan Malone? The Lightning have already signed Dan Ellis, so they have no where to go but up this season.

Gagne started his Flyers career on Oct. 2, 1999 and ended with Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals on June 9, 2010. He dedicated 10 years to the team, through all the highs and very lows. But he never lost faith in the team and the city.

It will be tough for Philadelphia to say goodbye to such a classy player than was loved by all. But as with all major sports, it is what happens. The only things fans can do now is look to the future and wish all the best to Gagne for the rest of his career.


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Categories: Ice Hockey, NHL, Sports

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