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

In the latest article on Simon talks about his future and expresses his wish to stay in Philadelphia. Here are his quotes:

On his past with injuries etc.:

“You wake up and you feel it. You look at all of the stuff you have gone through – the playoffs, all the games you’ve had to play, all of the injuries, the surgeries. It’s part of the game. I’m not the only one who feels that; there are a lot of guys in here who feel the same way.”

On how he feels right now:

“I’m starting to enjoy the game again, that’s been the main issue. The last 2 years have been a little bit tough. Health was an issue. Not playing as much as I wanted was an issue. I’m back to being healthy again. I’m starting to feel good on the ice. Even when we’re losing right now, I’m having fun coming to the rink. That’s something that, to start the season, I lost a little bit. All that helped me get a good feeling again about the game.”

On Philadelphia:

“This is a place, I always say, that’s maybe the best place for me to play. Is that because it’s the only place I’ve really played? I don’t know. Philly is one of the places that I have good memories, good friends, and my family is comfortable there.”

On the future:

“It would be an easy choice if ‘Homer’ would come to me and ask me to stay. We’ll see. I’m not sure if they’re going to want to make a lot of changes, or what they are thinking. It’s tough to look at our team, tough to judge why we play so poorly sometimes. We don’t have a full lineup, it’s a shortened season.”

On the ‘money issue’:

“I’m at the point of my career where I made really good money for a while. As a player, your goal is to win the Stanley Cup. I did that [with the Kings last season]. I still want to win the Stanley Cup. At the end of the day, money is just a small question. Being happy is important. If I like the place, I’ll make things work – for everyone to be happy, to make sure that it doesn’t hurt the team.”


Categories: Simon

Simon Gagne spoke to the media following the Flyers practice today.

Categories: Video

Simon spoke to the media following the Flyers shootout 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Categories: Video

I already posted a post-game video interview with Simon but here’s a bit that was missing in the original one. Simon talks about what it felt like to come back to Philadelphia.

credit: Center Ice Hockey Magazine

Categories: Video

Simon spoke to the media following his first game back in Philadelphia which the Flyers won 4-1.

Categories: Video