Barely four years ago, Simon Gagné was scoring 34 goals and was considered one of the most talented forwards of the NHL. Today, 33-year-old Gagné is in Quebec City, waiting for a club to give him a chance to return.

“All summer, the Philadelphia Flyers kept hinting that they wanted to offer me a new contract and I even told Robert Sauvé, my agent, not to negotiate with other teams,” said Gagné. “We trusted them. We put all our eggs in one basket and we got caught. We never thought we’d be stuck in this situation at this time of the year…”

Gagné kept hoping to return with the Flyers up until recently. “When I heard [Tuesday] that they had given a contract to Dan Cleary, it was like a slap in the face. I’m disappointed. I knew that hockey was a business, but with all the positive discussions we had with the GM Paul Holmgren, I can’t believe I’m not back with them.”

The Québecker admits that the last few years weren’t easy. He didn’t play more than 63 games in a season since 2009. On the other hand, he participated in 38 of the 48 games last year.

“I understand that the GMs are being careful because I didn’t play a lot two years ago after my concussion and my neck surgery, but I’m healthy right now and I feel great on the ice when I train with the (Quebec) Remparts. I really had a good summer training regimen and it’s a shame because I feel much better than I did in the last few years; it’s been a while since I’ve wanted to train like that. I’m 33, I’ve got good hockey to give.”

Gagné says he found his passion for hockey once again after the trade that sent him from the Los Angeles Kings to the Flyers last February.

“I finished the season with a bang with Philadelphia during the last 12 games of the season. I played on the first line with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. I finally found players who I could make plays with. It wasn’t as easy to get motivated in Los Angeles, where I played on the fourth line with teammates whose roles were to dump the puck in the opponent’s zone. I wasn’t having fun playing in Los Angeles, when I didn’t play on the fourth line, I’d be in the press-box questioning myself.”

Gagné collected 8 points in his last 13 games. He rarely played less than 18 minutes each game, sometimes even 20.

“I’m only 33, but I have a lot of experience, and that counts for something. I always achieved what was asked of me during the playoffs, that’s when the veterans can really shine through. I can help a team.”

The 6’1, 194 pounds forward would obviously prefer to have a signed contract in his possession before showing up at a training camp, but he seems ready to show up for tryouts, just like Ryan Whitney, Guillaume Lantendresse and Hal Gill. He wouldn’t say no to the Canadiens.

“I want to be on the ice. If the Canadiens are interested, we’re going to listen, of course. It’s a club that seemed interested at the beginning of the off-season, but the team seemed well-balanced at the time. Has the situation changed?”

Robert Sauvé says there are frequent discussions with some NHL General Managers about his client.

“We talk to teams every day. Right now, the clubs are very interested in their youth, but that can change during the training camp according to their young ones’ performances.

Sauvé is more or less surprised to see as many jobless veterans.

“The salary cap changes everything. A lot of teams are already over the cap and the ones that still have space are waiting to see what the first group will do for some deals. That’s what is slowing down the whole process.”

More developments to come.

source: LaPresse; Big thank you to my friend Myriam for the translation from French!

Categories: Simon

14 Responses so far.

  1. Bobby J says:

    What ticks me off is that we could use the offense. The Flyers lack enough guys that make things happen. Guys that have an eye to create plays. We have talent, but need another play creating guy. On any level, business or not, it makes no sense. You can still prove your worth Gagne. Just find the right place to do so. Good Luck.

  2. Steven C says:

    There is still a change Gagne could be Orange and Black. There was never a deal with Cleary. They only had him sign a Professional Try Out Contract, which gave him the chance to try out for Philly. Also all you people bashing Holmgren for this, It want him, It was the Detroit press who jumped to conclusions and said something that wasnt true. There was never a cleary deal. So there is still hope.

  3. Pete says:

    I don’t know what happened. I think the vast majority of fans were hoping to see Gagne back in Philadelphia. This is all on Homer and management. There’s a lot of bone-headed calls going on there, but the fan base and the city loves Gagne.

    I was really disappointed and threw a colossal WTF when I heard Homer made a move for Cleary. That was a slap in the face both to Gagne and the fans. It’s like, “I know what you want, and I don’t care.”

    If this is the pretense of going for a youth movement, then why bother making an effort to sign Cleary in the first place? That’s what I never understood.

  4. Erik says:

    How can you not offer one of the Franchise best player for years on a contract when we could use his leadership and veteran in and around the locker room. The guy can still play and is still better then alot if guys you put on the ice

  5. JGF says:

    Simon,
    Our GM was probably out on a load, flipped a car & now forgets having offered you a spot on the roster. ( he does that every so often).
    I saw the chemistry at the end of the season. How the heck could he not sign you? You are healthy, devoted, talented and a fan favorite!
    Holmgren signed a whacko Russian , then has to buyout his huge contract. So lets face it, the guy is a bit clueless.
    Like Clarke I liked the guy on the ice. But like Clarke he can’t bring us a cup as a manager…..enjoy your cup in another city like so many other former Flyers !
    Best of luck . Stay healthy and thanks for your time as a Phila Flyer.

  6. jesse says:

    Holmgren and whoever else is responsible for Simon not coming back should be fired immediately. Simon, thank you for everything you have done not for the flyers but your fans. you were always my favorite Flyer

  7. Morgan says:

    Gagne- you will be missed deeply. I still wish you were going to be black and orange. I cried the day you were traded to Tampa. I cried the day you were traded back to Philly. I’m only 14 and have been your biggest fan since I remember hockey. Wherever you play, I will have your jersey in that color. Ill just add it in with my other Gagne jerseys. Flyers, kings and wherever you go next, I will always be your biggest fan and will always believe in you. Do whatever you can to play. I know the flyers want you back……

  8. bjmassa says:

    That is really LOW , Holmgren should be FIRED , BUT , you know that will NOT happen , as long as Mr. Snider is around . Just keep filling up those seats FLYERS fans , and …… NOTHING WILL CHANGE . $$$$$$

  9. Marshall Pardy says:

    gagne buddy you would look in bleu blanc rouge you’d fit right in , In Montreal !!!!

  10. Tiffany says:

    Tom, I think you couldn’t have said it any better. 100% agreed!!!

  11. Ryan says:

    Wow I assumed Gagne would be back in orange and black as soon as Pronger went on LTIR. I’m very disappointed in Holmgren. I was hoping to see Gagne finish out his career as a Flyer.

  12. Tom says:

    Simon we will always love you! I don’t know why our GM is such a b******, I think I am speaking for the majority of the Flyers fan base here, we wish you were here, you deserve it, and you are a very good player, Holmgren has no loyalty, and I really hope you can finish your career as a Flyer, without Holmgren as the GM!

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