GM Paul Holmgren is trying very hard to clear some cap space to sign a veteran goaltender, most likely Marty Turco, to form a goaltending duo with recently re-signed Michael Leighton. And there’s no way Holmgren can improve his goaltending without moving a major contract. That’s why he asked winger Simon Gagne to waive his no-trade clause in order to free up some cap space. Gagne, 30, is slated to earn $5.25 million next season, the last year of his long-term deal with Philadelphia.
Gagne, a Quebec City-native, is the longest-tenured Flyer, having played his whole career in Philadelphia. In 664 games with the Flyers, Gagne has scored 259 goals and 265 assists for 524 points. Gagne was selected by the Flyers 22nd overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.
The Los Angeles Kings, which are rumored to be in the running for Ilya Kovalchuk, are reportedly interest in acquiring Gagne in the event that they are unable to come to an agreement with the Russian sniper. The New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils are also interested in signing Kovalchuk.Would the Flyers deal Gagne to Los Angeles? Consider they need cash to re-sign restricted free agents Daniel Carcillo and Darroll Powe, as well as unrestricted forward Aaron Asham. The added cap space could also allow GM Paul Holmgren to re-open contract talks with UFA goaltender Marty Turco. Moreover, GM Dean Lombardi and his right arm Ron Hextall (a former Flyer) are huge fans of Simon Gagne.
And there is no mention of the Kings swapping goaltenders Jonathan Quick or Jonathan Bernier to the Flyers in exchange for the injury-prone Gagne. The Flyers would likely ask for prospects and/or draft picks for Gagne’s services. That’s why Turco makes the most sense, as the Flyers already contacted his agent before July 1st to talk about the possibility of bringing the former Dallas Star to Philadelphia.
Turco would likely seek a two-year deal worth $2.5-3 million/year and would allow the Flyers to develop their young goaltenders, such as Johan Backlund, in the meantime.
Flyers fan, would you rather keep Gagne and start Leighton, or have Turco as your starter?
About the Author: Working as a freelance sports writer and translator, Fred, 33, graduated from Laval University in Quebec City, earning a bachelor of translation in 2002. An avid fan of the Northeast division teams, he's also a long time fan of the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. Fred also speaks fluently French and Spanish. http://twitter.com/FredPoulin98 www.traductions-quebec.com