On September 15, Simon Gagne announced his retirement, officially closing a 14-year NHL career. In 11 of those seasons, the 35-year-old played for the Flyers but was, for a brief period, a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
Having helped the Tampa Bay Lightning reach the Eastern Final in 2011 in his lone season with the club, Simon Gagne tested the free-agent market that summer. On just the second day of free agency, the native of Ste. Foy, Quebec, signed a two-year deal with the Kings.
As skilled as he was an an offensive threat, Gagne was also injury-prone. Still, the Kings took a chance and while he was only able to suit up for 34 games with the silver-and-black in his first season, Gagne was nonetheless instrumental in helping the Kings win their first Stanley Cup.
In his 34 games with the Kings in 2011-12, Gagne scored seven goals and add 10 assists, but an injury kept him sidelined until Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the New Jersey Devils. Yet, while he didn’t record any points upon his return, Gagne provided a plethora of veteran leadership to help his new club reach the top.
During the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign, Gagne would play in only 11 games for Los Angeles — recording five assists during that span — before being sent back to the Flyers.
The veteran would finish the year in Philadelphia but ended his career with the Boston Bruins, playing in 23 games during the 2014-15 campaign.
Of course, while he did win a Stanley Cup with the Kings was special, this week — and last night’s pre-game celebration — was about Simon Gagne’s time as a Philadelphia Flyer.
“I won a Cup with the Kings but the jersey I remember the most is always going to be the Flyers,” Gagne told the Flyers website. “They are the team that drafted me and I stayed there 11 years. … It’s going to be fun to go back to where everything started, where my son was born, and we’re really excited. We’re going to stick around more than just one night; for the week. And just have some really good memories about what happened there.”
In 822 career games in the NHL, Simon Gagne scored 291 goals and 310 assists for 601 points while adding 37 goals and 59 points in 109 career playoff games.