So we all know the Bruins are extremely short on cap space this offseason so adding new proven players is not going to be easy. One place to look just happens to be not even in the NHL or any hockey league for that matter but the TVA analysts. If you are all wondering who I'm talking about it's Simon Gagne the ex Flyers Kings and Lightning left wing. We all know who Gagne is but his best and healthiest days seem long gone as he was forced to miss all of last year because he couldn't find a team to sign him. On the plus side the year away from everyday grind might be just what his battered and bruised body needed. Another thing the year out of the NHL will have done is severely dropped his asking price. A few years back Gagne was making 5+ million now he's probably lucky to see north of 1-1.5 a year. However a one year deal could get the best out of him as he will be playing for his future to show he can still play at a high level.
When Gagne first made it to the NHL he was drafted with the 22nd pick by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1998 draft. In his rookie year Gagne played mostly at center and scored 20 goals and 48 points in 80 games which was good enough to land him on the NHL All Rookie Team. The next season he moved to wing which is where he has played the majority of his professional career. On a line with former Bruin Mark Recchi and Keith Primeau Gagne scored 27 goals and added 32 assists for 59 points in just 69 games. Those numbers gave him a spot on his first NHL All Star Team and he would score 2 goals including the game winner in the All Star Game. In his third season in the league Gagne would break the 30 goal plateau with 33 adding 33 assists for 66 points in 79 games. His next season would be plagued by injuries limiting him to only 46 games and only 9 goals with 27 points. His next season saw a return to health allowing him to play in 80 games but his stats took a slight dip with only 24 goals and 45 points. In the 05-06 season Gagne would have his best career season scoring 47 goals with 79 points in 72 games. Gagne would again score over forty goals the next season with 41 with 68 points in 76 games. Those two years would be his only forty goal seasons as injuries began to take a toll. In the next season Gagne was held to only 25 games while he did score 18 points. In 08-09 Gagne had a strong return to form scoring 34 goals with 74 points in 79 games but in the next season injuries would again limit him in the regular season. Gagne was still able to score 40 points in 58 games but his most important games came as the Flyers were down 3-0 to the Bruins in the playoffs. Returning in game 4 Gagne would score the game winner in to then score twice in game 5 then the series winner in games 7.
However his heroics were not enough to keep Gagne in Philly and he was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Matt Walker and a 4th round pick which seems like an absolute steal for the guy who just saved your season. In his only season with the Lightning Gagne would score 40 points in 63 games but would add 12 points in 15 playoff games going to the eastern conference finals before losing to the Bruins in 7. The following summer Gagne was signed as a free agent by the LA Kings who were looking for some more playoff hardened offensive punch to a two year 7 million dollar contract. Unfortunately injuries would take away most of his season as he would only play 34 games scoring 17 points and then failing to score in 4 playoff games. Even with all of the trouble he had through the year Gagne still was able to get his name on the Stanley Cup as the Kings would win it all that year. The next and final year of his career would see him traded back to the Flyers after struggling to play on a strong kings team. In 11 games for the Kings he scored 5 points and 11 points in 27 games for the Flyers for 16 points in 38 games.
Gagne has some good career numbers with 597 points in 799 games including 288 goals. In his playoff career Gagne has 59 points in 109 games. Gagne is a player a lot like Danny Briere and Thomas Vanek while he might not have elite numbers for his career he has always played the Bruins tough and given our defense plenty to worry about. To me if he still has some game left in his legs it's a great cheap signing. Leaving it up to the rookies to be the depth scoring might be too much to ask so having a proven veteran like Gagne can take some of that pressure off. As a third line left wing it would likely mean trading Kelly to open up that spot which to me is a welcome cap saving move. If Gagne does still have some left in the tank I would much rather it be for the Bruins then against us because even if he has his worst year you can bet that he will have some great games against Boston. Keep checking back here to see if Gagne can make the team as well as all other Boston sports news.