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!