34-Year-Old Left Wing – Free Agent
Simon Gagne Contract Information:
The Kings signed Gagne to a two-year, $7 million deal in July of 2011.
Gagne remains unsigned with the less than two weeks to go before training camps open. There has been speculation both he and the Flyers would like to see him in orange and black, but the Flyers are both close to the cap and their 50-man roster limit.
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Simon Gagne: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Gagne got off to a hot start with seven tallies in his first 17 games, but a concussion in late December cut his regular-season short. He was largely a disappointment (seven goals and 10 assists in 34 games) despite the quick start. He finally returned to the lineup in the Stanley Cup Finals and early indications are that he's going to try to play in 2012-13. He's under contract for one more season and figures to challenge Dustin Penner for a spot in the top-six forwards, but it's becoming harder and harder to count on Gagne for both production and health.
Gagne battled injuries again last year but the Kings are banking on a return to health out of the former 40-goal scorer. Gagne flourished with Mike Richards previously in Philadelphia but the Kings could also decide to pair him up with the uber-talented Anze Kopitar. A return to health may be wish-casting, but the upside is there if he can lace up the skates on a nightly basis.
Gagne is an elite winger with speed, smarts and skill. But he also has a list of injuries that's longer than a Brett Favre retirement decision. He's at his best when he adds a physical bite to his game but that just makes us cringe. We don't expect a full season from him but we do expect magic when he's on the ice. After all, he's now Vinny Lecavalier's wing-man and that means his point-per-game average could be the best of his career. We just don't know how many games he'll actually play. He's the epitome of risk-reward -- how much can you stomach?
In his last three full seasons, Gagne has managed to score 47, 41 and 34 goals in that order. So, if we are searching for a trend, look for Gagne to score 27-31 goals this season. That's still a good season, but a drop-off from his recent past. However, another trend is for Gagne's assist total to go up. In the past four seasons, Simon has registered 21, 32, 27 and 40 assists in that order. So as he lights the lamp less, he has braced a more veteran role and has been accumulating more assists. Look for both these trends to continue and for his point total to remain in the 70-80 range.
Gagne only played 25 games last season suffering from the effects from a concussion. Pr-season reports indicate that he has recovered from that and there was hope that he could have joined the team should they have made the Stanley Cup Finals, so it looks like he's a safe player to target - especially at a discount - at the draft table. The injury and his seven goals, may have caused him to fall of the radar for some but there's little reason to think that he can't tally another 40-goal campaign with the improving talent around him.
Even though the Flyers struggled, Gagne had his second best season as a pro. Gagne has now played 500 games as a Flyer. His ability to get to the openings with quickness makes him one of the more dangerous offensive players in the league. When you think about it, if he could score 41 goals in last year's mess, imagine what he could do if things come together for the Flyers.
Gagne had 47 goals last season and there is no reason to think it was a fluke. If Peter Forsberg can stay healthy all season, Gagne might be able to score 55 goals. Gagne is currently unsigned, but he is expected to be signed in time for training camp. He is an early round selection.
Gagne is slated to play on a line with Peter Forsberg and Jeff Carter - if this line sticks throughout the season, Gagne could realize a 75-point year.