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

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