Hartnell: Hard to see Gagne go

Scott Hartnell, right, said that it was hard to see Simon Gagne, left, leave the team in a trade to Tampa Bay. (Yong Kim / Staff File Photo)

Dealing with the recent trade of Simon Gagne to Tampa Bay will be an adjustment for all the Flyers.

Because Gagne was the longest tenured player on the team, none of his teammates know what life as a Flyer is like without him.

“It was hard to see him go," Scott Hartnell said today at a clinic for the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. "He’s been here for so long. He’s done a lot for the city. Gags put the puck in the net and everything else. But it is part of the business with the salary cap issues. I know if we could have squeezed him in, I’m sure Homer (Paul Holmgren) would have done it. It will be weird seeing him in a Tampa Bay uniform next year. It won’t be fun playing against him. Pucks will be in the corner and he and I will be going after it and hopefully I will be able to come up with it instead of him.”

The loss of Gagne is not the only change. The Flyers have actively collected defenseman this offseason.

"What our defense did for us last year in taking us to the [Stanley Cup] final, to add a couple more guys in that department is very good," Hartnell said. "There is nothing wrong with having too many defensemen. It will be interesting to see what happens and who is in the line-up. But it will make for a good training camp and will make it very competitive out there. It should be fun.”

Hartnell took part in on-ice demontrations and drills with children at the Skate Zone in Northeast Philadelphia.

"These kids love to play hockey," Hartnell said. "Twenty years ago this would have been me out there in these summer camps having fun. It is just a great feeling being able to give something back.”