Frank Seravalli of the Daily News was lucky enough to have a word with Simon Gagne who is still jobless, hoping to get a spot on an NHL team nonetheless. Here are some of the most interesting quotes from the article.

Regarding his job with the TVA, which he was apparently offered much earlier, in December last year actually:

“I told them I was not willing to do it, I wasn’t sure if I was going to play. I wasn’t ready to turn the page to next year. Once I saw that was not going to work out, I thought I might try TV a little bit to see if I like it, maybe it would be fun in the future. I thought the Olympics might be a great moment to start.”

Looking back at the gold medal which he won with Team Canada at 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City:

“I have moved around a lot in the last few years, to Florida and to LA and Philly, but the gold medal is one of the things I keep taking with me. Once in a while, I go look in the box and check to make sure it is still there.”

On the Flyers and events that transpired last summer:

“It’s in the past, but every time I think about it, it’s tough to swallow. I think a lot if it is maybe my fault. I think maybe I had too much confidence in the Flyers. I had my meeting with [general manager] Paul Holmgren before the free-agent market opened and he told me to hang tight. I thought I was going to be with the Flyers. That didn’t work the way it was supposed to. I made the mistake of telling team employees the Flyers were the only team I wanted to play for this season. I got caught up.”

“I’m keeping my options open. I’m really glad I had the chance to come back and say a proper goodbye. It’s still the best place for a hockey player to play.”

On his injury history & current situtation:

“With all of my injuries, I knew the end was going to come at one point. But watching games, I still believe I can play, I know I could do a lot better than some of these guys. It is all about the health issues in my past. When you give big money to players, you want them to play and not sit on the bench. I totally understand that.”

source: Philly.com
Categories: Simon

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

(Québec) According to the rumors, Simon Gagné is about to sign a new contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. Careful however, he said that as long as his signature isn’t fresh at the bottom of the document, he wouldn’t announce his official return to the City of Brotherly Love.

“Nothing’s official as long as the contract isn’t signed,” said the number 12. “But we had good discussions, last Thursday, before my golf tournament. It’s for that reason that I’m more confident than I was before. We have to meet again this week to see what we can do. There’s trust on both sides. I just hope everything will be taken care of soon.”

“In the best of worlds, things would wrap up quickly and I’d have a contract in my pocket,” added Gagné. “But there’s no deadline. As long as we’re talking, that both sides agree and that trust is there… We are now ready to be a little more patient, since we’re talking with the Philadelphia Flyers.”

When asked to put a percentage on the likelyhood of him wearing the Flyers’ jersey for the 2013-2014 season, Gagné pointed out that he couldn’t accurately evaluate his chances, only say that he feels they are pretty high. “But in the world of hockey, we never know. Nothing’s ever set in stone. It’s a business. I lived it in 2010. But as long as there’s mutual trust between the two parties, my return with the Flyers is likely, but I don’t want to talk about a percentage for now.”

Loyal to the orange jersey

Even if his return to Philadelphia was not confirmed, the Flyers’ jersey was present along with the Bruins’, Tuesday, during the Pro-Am Gagné-Bergeron press conference. It was even announced that that Leucan’s team, where the ex-Remparts would play, was to be named the Flyers.

“For now, it’s the jersey Leucan’s team players will wear August 8th. And if there are any changes to be made until then, they will be made. Like I already said, I’m confident that things will wrap up, but if it’s not the case, we’ll wear another jersey”, mentioned Gagné who did not wear the famous orange Jersey in the pictures for the media.

“On one hand, it was a delicate situation. But on the other, I’m not ashamed to wear the Flyers’ jersey, the team that drafted me and helped me grow for 11 seasons. I will always be apart of the Flyers’ family no matter what happens. When you play for the same team for more than five or six years, your name stays ingraved in the organization. That’s probably why I’m being patient and maybe a little too loyal to the team, but I’m ready to do it because it’s a team where I had a lot of fun and where I have a lot of good memories.”

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

Categories: Simon

As every off-season, Simon is participating in many regional charity events in Québec, Canada. For the 12th time, Simon held a charity golf tournament which took place last week in Charlesbourg. All the proceeds which were $83.000 this year, went to the Leucan organization. Not even a month later there will be another event – the Pro-Am Gagné-Bergeron. Patrice Bergeron and Gagné will participate in the Pro-Am for their fifth time.

The Pro-Am Gagné-Bergeron for kids of Québec brings, once again, a great number of participants. 1400 tickets have been already sold as of Tuesday for the event, which will take place August 8th.

Hockey players Patrice Bergeron and Simon Gagné are organizing this event for a fifth year. The game will take place August 8th in L’Ancienne-Lorette, in the outskirts of Quebec City.

Participants have to shell out 3000$ to have a spot on one of the teams and have the chance to play with players from the National Hockey League. Sixteen players have already confirmed – David Desharnais, Alex Tanguay, Antoine Vermette, Maxime Talbot or Marc-Édouard Vlasic, to name a few.

This year, the Pro-Am will be preceeded by a tail gate in the the sports complex’s parking lot. At 4 PM, the players will meet the fans and will sign autographs.

The goal of this event is to raise more than 100 000$ for Pignon Bleu and Leucan.

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

Categories: Simon

(Québec) Simon Gagné should play with the Philadelphia Flyers for at least another year. If it were up to him, his contract would already be signed. But Paul Holmgren, Flyers’ General Manager, is taking his time while other teams show their interest in the Québec-native forward.

More than a week after the beginning of the NHL’s Free Agency, the 33-year-old left-wing born in Sainte-Foy currently residing in Lac-Beauport remains unsigned. He waits and lets his manager, Robert Sauvé, handle the situation.

“Philadelphia is where I want to play next season. It’s natural for me and my family, on top of it being where I’ve started my career. I’d love to finish it there, but in the hockey world, you don’t always have a choice”, observed Gagné, Friday, during his annual golf tournament for Leucan at the La Faune golf club, in Charlesbourg.

Gagné has 13 seasons in the NHL under his belt, 597 points in 799 regular games. The product of the Québec Remparts played his first 10 years in the NHL donning the Flyers’ orange uniform in addition to the last 27 games of the past season. In between, he spent two and a half years with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Los Angeles Kings. He won his only Stanley Cup with the Kings, in 2012.

Stability

Hard years nonetheless. He admits having hard feelings for Holmgren for trading him in July 2010, twenty-four hours after his “best playoffs of my career”. Wearing the Lightning jersey made him feel like he was “wearing the wrong jersey. It didn’t work!” His reunion with his ex-teammates from Philadelphia Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, with the Kings, helped him feel less alone.

He is also the father of two young children, aged four and two. Since last September, his son was being shifted from daycare to daycare, from Québec during the lockout to Los Angeles when the season started to finish the year in Philadelphia. Daddy is looking for some stability for his young family, and Philadelphia is a familiar territory.

“Maybe I’m too loyal to one team and that’s why things aren’t moving. But we had a good discussion again with them [Thursday] and I’m confident with what has been said. Things will become clear in the next few days.”

The Flyers are choked by the salary cap. Gagné admits being ready to accept less money than what other teams could offer, “to make sacrifices to fit under the salary cap. But I won’t play for nothing. I know my market value”, assured Gagné who says he recieved news from half a dozen other teams, especially from the Western Conference. There were no formal discussions with the Montreal Canadiens.

He now works with one-year contracts. He will turn 34 in February and he always thought about retiring around the age of 35 or 36. But hanging up his skates isn’t in his plans for now. He is on the ice once a week with his son and still feels very much at home. “I have the energy, the motivation, and health”, he recaps, smiling.

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

Categories: Simon

Simon Gagné may be from Sainte-Foy, but throughout the years, Philadelphia has become a haven and a second home to him.

Will the 33-year-old veteran be back with the Flyers next season? Nothing is less certain.

Free agent without compensation since July 5th, Gagné is still free like the wind. And even if he didn’t say, with Vincent Lecavalier’s arrival in the city of brotherly love, the Flyers have things to see through.

“I’d love to finish my career in Philadelphia. I enjoyed my return with the Flyers, and the coaches were happy with my performances”, confided Gagné.

“We’re talking with the team,” he continued. “It’s where I want to play, and they are still interested, so we are patient.”

Gagné praised Philadelphia to Lecavalier

For Gagné, Philadelphia is a “natural choice”. And he didn’t hesitate to point out the advantages of the city to Lecavalier before the former Tampa Bay captain made his choice.

“Vincent called me to learn about the place, and to get to know the team’s style of play,” said Gagné. “He wanted to know more about the city and the schools for his children. Let’s just say that I showed Philadelphia in a very good light.”

Around the same time last year, Gagné was parading with the Stanley Cup. This summer, he is looking for a job. Two realities much different from one another.

“I’m 33, so yes, it’s a part of my career. There are ups and downs, and last year, winning the Stanley Cup was a big accomplishment.”

Gagné turns the page

Gagné played his first 10 seasons in the Flyers’ uniform before leaving to the Tampa Bay Lightning, then the Los Angeles Kings. And last season, he had the opportunity to return to his favorite team.

Now, this is all behind him. He has turned the page, even if it hasn’t been easy.

“It took me a good two years before I got over it, and even when I was in Tampa Bay, it was hard. At the beginning, I thought I had the wrong jersey on”, mentioned Gagné.

“But in Los Angeles, I really turned the page,” he continued. “My return went well, and things returned to normal very quickly.”

In 38 games with the Flyers and the Kings this season, Gagné had a total of 16 points, with 5 goals and 11 assists.

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

Categories: Simon