Flyers Gagne Exiled to Tampa

What did Simon Gagne do to deserve this? After a decade of service, 259 goals, playoff heroics and countless other memories, his salary just became too much for the Flyers to deal with. Never a team that’s been known for their cap management, they were once again up against the wall after recent trades and signings. So they asked Simon to waive his no trade clause, and he complied. And of all the places they could have sent him, he goes to freaking Tampa Bay?!?!

Philadelphia Flyers Simon Gagne celebrates his goal on the Boston Bruins during the third period in Game 7 of their NHL Eastern Conference semi-final hockey game in Boston, Massachusetts May 14, 2010. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

He came back from injury and made an immediate impact in these past playoffs. OT goal in game 4 to cut the Bruins lead to 3-1, and then the game-winner in the 3rd period of Game 7 to complete the historic comeback. So we thank him for everything by shipping him to hockey wasteland. He goes to a team that utterly blows. They have a rookie GM (Steve Yzerman), an overrated midget (Martin St. Louis), and a bunch of garbage players as a supporting cast to Vinny Lecavalier and Steve Stamkos. Instead of giving him the respect he deserves and sending him to a real contender, he goes here?!? Really?!!??!! I’m sorry, Simon, you deserve more than this. At least for his sake it’s only one wasted season. He’s got a year left on his contract, and then he’s free to test the market. I hope he doesn’t buy into their “rebuilding” bullshit and sign on to help the team over the next few seasons. Their Stanley Cup run a few years ago was a fluke. They play in a division that doesn’t deserve to exist, in a market not meant for hockey.

I understand the business side of the deal on the Flyers end, but I’m not sure how much better our roster is. Obviously Zherdev is expected to fill Gagne’s role, and we’ve toughened up. But are we good enough to compete with Pittsburgh and Washington? Let’s face it, we got lucky that we skipped out on them in the playoffs.  To win, we need a line-up that can compete with everybody. On paper, we look good, we’ve got depth at center, and awesome defense. This will win a lot of games, but will it get us the Cup?

Kovalchuk decided to piss me off and stay with the Devils, signing a 17 year deal for $150M. Lou Lamoriello is a smart GM, possibly the best in hockey. He’s built solid teams using mostly no-name players and a boring system. So 95% of the time, I wouldn’t question his decision making. This signing falls into the remaining 5%. My only problem with the deal is the length of it. 17 years for a 27 year old that is going to slow down in the next 5? I don’t know the exact year by year breakdown, but this averages out to $8.8M/year. Is he really going to be worth that when he’s 35-44 years old? This sets a ridiculous precedent for star players, and is exactly the kind of stupidity that lead to the lockout. Even worse, barring a trade, Kovalchuk is also stuck playing for a team that nobody cares about. At least in LA he would have helped hockey’s image a bit; he won’t do that in Jersey.

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Topics: Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils, Nikolai Zherdev, Philadelphia Flyers, Simon Gagne, Tampa Bay Lightning

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  • vlad

    17 years? are they signing him or the rights to his future offspring?

  • Doug

    Terms have not been disclosed yet. Enough people are excited about the resigning believe it or not. Good job losing another Stanley Cup Final. Regardless of how bad you guys beat our brains in last year, at least when we beat you, we finish the job and take home the chrome. good luck this season.

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  • Farewell Gags

    Wow. I don’t usually reply to blog posts but I’ll make an exception this time. I really really hope this was satire or you were at least joking about the Tampa Bay’s comments. In case you haven’t checked the stats of Tampa Bay’s first line it consists of one the the best if not the play maker in the game and Stamkos who tied Crosby with 51 goals. St. Louis and Stamkos both had 94 and 95 points respectively. One dominating in assists and the other dominating in goals. Its already been decided (as of now) that Gags will play on this line. That combination is better than any line the Flyers have at the moment. That statement can also be aimed at the majority of the other teams in the league right now. They’re definitely going to be a force come next season. And even though Steve Y is a rookie GM he’s making moves like a veteran. Nothing he’s done so far has been detrimental to the bolts. With all that being said Flyers in 2011!! wooooo!!

    • Sam

      Yeah, the Tampa Bay comment is ignorant, especially about ‘midget’ St Louis. He wishes the ‘midget’ played for the Flyers. Also get over the weak division crap. You don’t win Cups if you stink. I suppose the Canes were lucky too in their Cup year. Gagne sends the Bolts right back into the playoffs. Yes, they do need D, no doubt about that.

      • vlad

        Ugh, yea you do win cups if youre lucky. the bolts only won because of bulin. also, look at the Bucs… Tampa for some reason has had a stroke of luck for its sports teams given to a city that barely deserves to exist.

    • teri

      Spoken like a true Cryers fan. St. Louis may be small but he has more heart and game than 80% (if not more) of the players in the NHL and Steve Stamkos has already established himself as a force to be reckoned with. As for Steve Yzerman, he may be a “rookie” as a GM but he is an intelligent and thoughtful man who learned from the best….Am I happy Gagne went to Tampa? Hell no. But I knew there was no way he would end up in Pittsburgh. Am I happy he is no longer with the Cryers. HELL YES!

      As for the idiot move by the Devils…..guess they haven’t read about the long term contracts Mr. Wang graced a couple of players with…..a Russian with no heart and a goalie who can’t stay healthy. And now a team that can’t make money. There isn’t a player in the league I would sign to such a long term contract and especially not to the age that Kovalchuk will be….Gordie Howe or Chris Chelios he is not….

  • ajp

    First of all, you spelled exiled wrong. And things didn’t get much better from there. The Kovalchuk deal was worth 102 million over 17 years for a cap hit of 6 million per. The fit is questionable but that’s another story.

    An overrated midget? Really? Of the 3 Lightning players you mentioned, he definitely hasn’t been the overrated one as of late. 94 points is a pretty good season in my books. Somebody is sour.

  • Osse

    Wow, i usally never get mad when i read blogs but this one is the worst piece of shit i ever have reed, probably written by a hillbilly in Canada who believe that hockey only belongs to Canada. And it´s funny to reed when an ignorant person says that S:t Louis are overated, you should se the stats looser!
    Ps. Of course I´m worried as Tampa fan that Yzerman is a rookie GM but so far so good :)

    • Eugene Markman

      No, I live in the Philadelphia area; I’m happy about hockey in the US. I just think some cities don’t deserve teams. Florida isn’t exactly a hockey market.

      • teri

        HERE I agree with you 100%! Doesn’t alter the fact that hockey IS a Canadian sport that, happily is loved by thousands of Yanks.

    • teri

      This is amazing. While I agree (I think) with most of what you wrote it’s difficult to tell because, while you are calling Mr. Markman ignorant, you have demonstrated a total ignorance of basic English grammar, punctuation, and spelling. You have what, a 2nd grade education (ok, that may be generous)?

      By the way, Canada doesn’t have hillbillies. That is strictly an American phenomenon…although most of the “hillbillies” I have met are more intelligent than you are. As for Canada and hockey- fact is, that’s where the game came from, that’s where the VAST (that means “a lot”) majority (that means “most”) of players come from and it IS the national sport (along with LaCrosse)….and most Canadians know more about the sport than you AND Mr. Markman put together (and, even though I don’t agree with his blog post I am taking into account the fact that he’s a Cryers fan) I would have to say he demonstrates a great deal more knowledge of the game, and in general, than you do.

      Go back to shoveling manure before you embarrass yourself further.

  • Broon

    One of the more uneducated blogs that I have read. But, not surprised as most of you Philly fans run on emotion rather than logic and fact.
    Marty St. Louis has more hardware in his trophy case than the entire Flyers organization have mustered over the last 10 years, including a Stanley Cup. This guy sounds like he’s holding onto sour grapes from the ’04 Conference Finals.
    Wake up and read a little more before making comments like these, but thanks for the laughs.

  • Eugene Markman

    First, I was going off early reports regarding Kovalchuk. $102M is a lot better, and the way it is structured is pretty smart actually. So once again, Lou Lamoriello makes a smart move.
    Second, I acknowledged Stamkos and Lecavalier are good.
    Finally, I mean every damn word about St. Louis. I don’t care what kind of stats he puts up or his damn hardware. I don’t like his playing style, I didn’t like him during his MVP season, and I DO NOT wish he was on the Flyers.

    • Broon

      Of course you don’t want St. Louis to play for the Flyers. He’s a winner!

  • vlad

    people in tampa have internet access? you learn something new everyday…

  • Eugene Markman

    Also, I’d like to add that with all the offense that Stamkos, St. Louis, and Lecavalier put up, TB still finished 12th in the East. Gagne and Ellis help, but you’re not good enough to compete for anything yet.

    • teri

      Well, we will have to agree to disagree on St. Louis. I love the guy. You don’t need to be a monster to play in the NHL- just fast, quick, smart and have good hands and St. Louis is proof.

      As for Tampa’s standings, until they get some consistent goaltending and defence, they aren’t going anywhere….But give Stevie Y time….every GM has to start somewhere. He has his work cut out for him but I am quite confident he is up to the challenge.

  • Osvaldo Vergara

    Actually I believe that Tampa have a better offense than the Flyers but of course you have probably the best defence in the league but you need an allstar keeper if you want to win the Stanley cup like we have Khabibulin in 2004.

    • Eugene Markman

      This past season, Flyers were 8th, TB was 23rd. Even with the loss of Gags, I expect us to be in that range, and TB will be a bit higher. Our defense is good, and is a big reason why our team offense excels as much as it does. And I agree about the goalie, go through my archives, you’ll see how I feel about Leighton.

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