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Gagne healthy?

Monday, August 4, 2008

The reports say it’s true: SImon Gagne is not only recovered from his concussions/neck issues, but he’s training with five-time winner of the Canada’s Strongest Man competition Hugh Girard.  (Danny Briere also trains with Girard during the offseason.  Apparently the workouts only make you stronger, not taller.)

Gagne certainly would be the “free agent signing” of the year, if he returns healthy.  The addition of Gagne gives the Flyers two snipers (Gagne, Lupul), two playmaking centers (Briere, Richards), a scoring/checking center (Carter), and two gritty wingers (Knuble, Hartnell).  Add to that the speed and snarkiness of Upshall, the quick skating and playmaking abilities of Claude Girous, and the snarl and board-work of Steve Downie, and you’ve got quite a top 9 on the roster.

Being a relatively young fan (let’s just say I would have had the same draft year as Richards and Carter), Gagne is the first player I have watched from development through his entire NHL career.  I can remember his draft day – the same draft in which Vinny Lecavalier was taken first overall and Scott Gomes 27th.  I can also remember watching him as a scrawny-looking rookie.  And I remember his first games with Peter Forberg.

I hope to watch Gagne create more great Flyer memories this season, and for many more to come.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 7:32 pm

    Who’s this Simong Gagne dude? Is he a free agent addition? 🙂
    {Check the tags}

    On a more serious note, getting Gagne back should be a major boost for Philly. You figure they managed to reach the Eastern Conference Finals with him out; perhaps he can help them go a step farther this season…. Or even snap the Cup drought.

    Only two months until the season starts!

  2. The Frozen Fan permalink*
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 8:12 pm

    Forget two months – I’m counting only one month until preseason starts!

    The tags (and, admittedly, my post) focus a lot on Gagne’s offensive contributions. But I think what I’m most happy about is his defensive abilities. Fans forget that Gagne is more than just a sniper – he’s a sniper who can play solid minutes on the penalty kill. He had two short-handed goals in both the 2006-07 and 2005-06 seasons.

    Even if Gagne doesn’t score at his pre-injury levels, his presence should reduce Briere’s liability on defense. And that alone should help the Flyers reduce their goals against numbers.

  3. John permalink
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 8:17 pm

    You have a point. But preseason doesn’t count for anything (See Senators, Ottawa; circa 2007).

    I’d love to watch any hockey right now, but I personally prefer the games that matter! 🙂

  4. The Frozen Fan permalink
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 8:24 pm

    But preseason means real news. And I would love to read about something other than JP Barry and Mats Sundin twiddling their thumbs.

  5. John permalink
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 8:27 pm

    I know what you mean…
    (WARNING: NFL-NHL comparison upcoming)

    It’s like this stupid Brett Favre saga. Can we please find something else to freaking write about!

  6. The Frozen Fan permalink
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 8:35 pm

    Hey, it could be worse.

    Favre could have accepted the contract offer from the Iowa Chops.

  7. John permalink
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 8:39 pm

    What I want to know, (I’m back to hockey now!) is will this Sundin situation turn into something similar to what Anaheim had going on last year… A veteran skipping the first half of the season and coming back fresh for the stretch run.

  8. John permalink
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 8:41 pm

    I know that they had a completely different scenario (The players were under contract), but there is still the chance of an underlying similarity…

  9. The Frozen Fan permalink
    Wednesday, August 6, 2008 4:40 am

    I don’t think Sundin would do that. His whole reason for staying with Toronto this past year was that he wanted to be a with a team for the whole ride – training camp to the end. Going the Selanne route doesn’t line up with that.

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