As it was reported on Twitter by multiple sources, Simon made another great progress in order to get back to playing. He was cleared for contact. This great news has been first reported by François Gagnon from La Presse. Now I’m bringing you the translation of the original French article!
In addition to their 4-2 victory over the Coyotes, which gave the Kings a 1-0 lead in the series for the 3rd time a row, the team had another reason to cheer.
Completely recovered from the concussion that kept him away from the game since December 26th, Simon Gagné is getting closer to returning to the ice.
It’s been 3 weeks since Simon Gagné has taken up intensive training, and he just got the green light for a return to the game. Still staying at Los Angeles, where he skates with the Kings’ “Taxi Squad”, the 32 years old left winger will be able to make and take hits starting Monday.
Even though he will not join his teammates in Phoenix, he might put his jersey on for the end of the Western Conference Finals against the Coyotes. The team’s staff will make their decision based on the length of the series and on how well Gagne takes hits during training.
A reliable source told me that the original plan, which was to postpone the Quebecer’s return to the autumn, was up for debate.
“He’s been working very hard for 3 weeks already. Even though he couldn’t get involved in the physical part of the game, Simon had to work hard on his skating and physical condition. These 3 weeks were more demanding than training camp or regular season training. It was very intense but he went through it without a scratch. It’s really a good news. It’s very positive. Encouraging”, said our source.
Even though it’s unlikely, returning to the game against the Coyotes would be a tremendous victory for Gagné: first of all, it would prove the predictions wrong. Second, he would come back against the team that put him down during the season. It was during a game against the Coyotes, at the Staples Center of Los Angeles, that Gagne was hurt from a shoulder hit to the face from Coyotes’ Raffi Torrès.
Torrès is still serving his 25 games suspension for his dangerous and malicious hit on Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa during the first round of the playoffs. Raffi Torres is criticizing NHL’s chief player disciplinarian’s (Brendan Shanahan) decision.
Simon Gagne, who has joined the Kings last summer as a free agent, had several concussions over his career. Two of his ten seasons with the Philadephia Flyers were seriously shortened by some serious hits to the head (especially the 2007-2008 season, during which he only played 25 games) that took a long time to recover from. That’s not counting some others that no one saw, or worse, that weren’t treated patiently enough.
“No one knows how many concussions Simon had. The important thing is that the Kings gave him time to recover and get back in shape. We’re not rushing anything, but the fact that he’s this close to returning to the game is an excellent news”, our source insisted.
Before he got injured on December 26th, Gagne had 7 goals and 17 points in 34 games. He was the Flyers first round pick (22nd pick overall) in 1998, and had 283 goals and 581 points in 761 games in the NHL, he has 37 goals and 59 points from 105 playoffs games. Gagne also won Olympic Gold in Salt Lake City in 2002, and represented Canada in Turin 4 years later.