The last couple years have been hard for Simon Gagne.
After a slew of unfortunate injuries, the one-time face of the Flyers’ franchise found himself in the unenviable position of being forced to waive his no trade clause.
Gagne was shipped to Tampa Bay for a poor return. It was the only team for which he could see himself playing. The team had plenty of cap space and he believed this meant that he would be able to remain there for the foreseeable future.
However, after the injuries continued and he put up modest numbers throughout the 2011 campaign, it was suggested that the Lighting would not retain Gagne’s services.
Numerous fans in Philadelphia would like to see him return to Philadelphia — at a heavily discounted rate — to finish up his career. Some fans believe the spark he provided during the ’10 postseason was the missing element to last season’s Stanley Cup run.
It may be in Gagne’s best interest to take some time off. Given his injury history and the likelihood that he is one concussion away from forced retirement, Gagne should wait until the latter half of the season to sign a deal with a team.
For a cheap, prorated one-year deal, he would be a great addition to any contender come February. This would minimize the risk of injury and maximize his output for the playoffs. Additionally, it would set him up nicely to rebound for the following season to earn a lucrative deal somewhere.
It would be great to see Gagne play in orange and black again. If he is willing to sign an extremely affordable deal, he could be a tremendous help to the cap-strapped Flyers. At this stage of his career, though, he would be better off traveling the route that players like Peter Forsberg, Teemu Selanne, and others traveled before him.
Sit back and relax, Simon. There’s no reason for you to be playing in October. Save yourself for springtime.