Flyers trade Gagneby Eric Schwartz
Well, this one is a head-scratcher.
News that Simon Gagne would be traded had been out for weeks and many Philadelphia fans, while appreciative of Gagne’s 10 seasons with the Flyers, were prepared to move on without one of the best forwards the team has had in recent memory.
However the fans were also hoping the team would get a little bit in returnfor him.
Instead the Flyers dealt Gagne to the Lighting today in exchange for little-known defenseman Matt Walker and a fourth-round pick in next years draft.
For that price the team could have just released him and saved money. Bellow is the AP report:
New Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman added a big offensive chip to his club by trading for the longtime Philadelphia Flyers forward Monday. Tampa Bay sent defenseman Matt Walker and a fourth-round pick in next year’s draft to Philadelphia to get Gagne, who spent 10 seasons with the Flyers.
“In adding Simon to the Lightning, we acquire a very talented player that will play alongside our top forwards,” Yzerman said in a statement. “With his combination of speed and skill we are excited to have him with us and grateful he was willing to waive his no movement clause.
“This trade not only makes us a better team in the short term, it helps create long-term flexibility for us, which all along has been one of our top priorities.”
In 664 NHL games, Gagne has 259 goals and 265 assists. He ranks ninth on the Flyers’ career list in goals and 10th in points and games played.
He had 17 goals and 23 assists in 58 games last season and added nine goals and three assists in 19 playoff games as Philadelphia reached the Stanley Cup finals before losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.
Gagne is eligible to become a free agent after next season.
“I’m very excited right now,” Gagne said. “I’m looking at this opportunity as a new challenge and a new start. Tampa Bay was a team I was more than willing to waive my no-move clause.”
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Walker has played in 304 career regular season games over seven seasons. The 30-year-old Alberta native was originally selected by the St. Louis Blues in the third round of the 1998 draft.
Walker had two goals, three assists and 90 penalty minutes in 66 games last season with the Lightning. While with St. Louis, Chicago and Tampa Bay, Walker amassed four goals, 26 assists and 444 penalty minutes during his NHL career.
“We like the way Matt plays,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said. “He’s a character-intense player. He plays physical. He’s a stay-at-home guy that is a good penalty killer. On our team he can buy us dirty minutes and not be a liability, but be a positive force and help and defend our own zone.”