Simon Gagne was a fan favorite while in Philly. He was a talented goal scoring forward who twice in his 10 seasons with the Flyers eclipsed the 40 goal mark. The Kings have a chance to lift their first Stanley Cup in franchise history tonight. I am glad Gags could play in the finals so he can get his name on the Cup, if the Kings do indeed clinch it, without having to petition for it. Plus its just so much better to win it on the ice and not in the press b0x. Simon may retire after this season, as he has had serious injury issues in the past and just last season, but even if he does finish out his contract with the Kings he will only play one more year so hoisting the Cup would be a nice way to end his career on a high note.
Simon had some very productive years as a Flyer and formed a deadly combination with Peter Forsberg while he was in town. The “Deuces Wild” line (Gags, Forsberg, Knuble) was an amazing combination and gave Flyers fans plenty to cheer about. He was the best pure goal scorer we had for quite a few years. One major downfall in Gags career were his injury issues. The issues really came to a head in 2007-2008 when missed all but 25 games due to concussion related symptoms. He believed he had 3 of them, but doctors ended up saying he only had one and had re-aggravated it causing the symptoms to come back. He eventually came back and had a strong season the following year scoring 34 goals. Gagne was also instrumental in the Flyers ridiculous comeback against Boston in the 2010 Semi-Finals round of the playoffs. He scored the game winner in OT in game 4 to prevent the sweep and then scored the game winner in game 7 to seal the deal on the most improbable series comeback in Philadelphia Flyers history.
It’s safe to say that his legacy is cemented in Philly sports. He was a beloved athlete in this town for 10 years. I believe his name will be placed on the banners that hang from the Wells Fargo Center one day when he is inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame. His best years statistically were while he was here and he had a huge following in this city much more so than he did in Tampa and LA (where real sports fans are almost non-existent). As for his legacy in the NHL books I am not sure he will be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. As of right now he has a career regular season points split of 283/298/581 in 761 games played. His career playoff points split is 37/22/59 in 105 games played. It’s a shame the prime of his career didn’t last longer. I believe if it wasn’t for the concussion problems he would have had a few more 40 goal seasons thus putting him closer to the Hockey Hall of Fame. After the initial long term concussion problems of 2007-2008 he did not produce another 40 goal season and only cracked 20 once. So if tonight is Simon’s last game in the league hoisting the Cup would put a nice bow on very good career. Unfortunately for Flyer fans it means just another season of watching a former Flyer win it somewhere else.
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