Friday, July 31, 2015

Gagne shipped to Tampa Bay

Left winger Simon Gagne's terrific 10-year career with the Flyers is over.

Gagne shipped to Tampa Bay

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The Flyers traded Simon Gagne to the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Yong Kim / Staff file photo)
The Flyers traded Simon Gagne to the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Yong Kim / Staff file photo)


Left winger Simon Gagne's terrific 10-year career with the Flyers is over.

   In a move that gives the Flyers cap space but severely weakens their offense, Gagne, 30, was sent to Tampa Bay for defenseman Matt Walker and a fourth-round draft pick in 2011 on Monday.

   Walker, 30, had two goals and three assists and was minus-11 last season. The 6-4, 215-pounder was a third-round pick by St. Louis in 1998.

   Gagne, who starred in playoffs against Boston and Montreal last season and was the longest-tenured player on the team, was dealt because the Flyers needed to free cap space; he will earn $5.25 million this season.

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   The Flyers are now overloaded with defensemen and thin on quality wingers, and they almost assuredly will now trade a D-man.

   Walker has three years left on his contract, which pays him $1.7 million per season.

  GM Paul Holmgren received lots of criticism after the trade was announced, but the deal cannot be judged until the next domino falls.

   "This was a move to solidify our defense,” said Holmgren. “Matt Walker is a right shot defenseman that we like. He brings size, grit and toughness to our backend. Simon Gagne played 10 seasons for the Flyers and was not only a good player for us, but also handled himself in a first class manner on and off the ice.”

     Walker, 30, appeared in 66 games during the regular season for the Lightning, recording five points (2G,3A) and 90 penalty minutes.

    "My initial reaction was pure excitement,” said Walker. “To find out that I was coming to Philly, I don’t know if I would say it was a life-long dream, but I’ve always wanted to play in Philly and I thought I would be a good fit there.”
 

 
Inquirer Staff Writer
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