NAME: Simon Gagne
POSITION: Left Wing
Regular Season Statistics: 58 Games Played – 17 Goals, 23 Assists, 40 Points. -1
Analysis: Another season, another set of injuries for Gagne. Hampered by the injury bug yet again, Gagne was limited to 58 games of action this year. As a result of injury concerns, Gagne, a Team Canada regular, was left off the Canadian roster for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Still, Gagne had a solid season, nearly reaching the 20 goal mark, despite missing almost 20+ games this season. His 17 goal total was a significant drop off from the 34 he put up last season, but it also needs to be taken into account that in 2009-’10 Gagne suited up for 21 less games – a considerable total. Injury concerns aside, when Gagne was in the line-up he still proved to be an invariable contributor to the Flyers’ Power Play and top offensive unit, spending most of his time paired up with Mike Richards. He seemed to regain his elite form as the season wound down, which spelled only good things for the Flyers heading into the postseason.
Postseason Statistics: 19 Games Played – 9 Goals, 3 Assists, 12 Points. -2
Analysis: A large part of the magical run the Flyers endured in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs was due to the wizardry of Gagne when in the line-up. After being unable to beat Martin Brodeur in the first round against New Jersey, Gagne suddenly was rendered useless when he broke his toe blocking a Brian Rolston slapshot in the later stages of Game Four. The injury caused the Flyers’ sniper to miss the series-clinching Game Five, as well as Games 1-3 of the Boston series, before returning in dramatic fashion to win Game Four in overtime and keep the Flyers’ season alive. From there, the majestic Gagne took over. The Flyers won the next six games they played with Gagne in the line-up, as the forward scored 6 goals in that span including the game winner capping off the Flyers’ 4-3 Game Seven victory against Boston that awarded them a spot in the history books.
FINAL GRADE: A-
Reasoning: Call me a softy, a homer, whatever you will. Gagne didn’t have a spectacular regular season by anyone’s standards, but he proved his worth when it mattered most: the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Coming back from a broken toe and keeping up with the pace of the playoffs is hard enough, but actually being a factor – and a gigantic one at that – is even more of a testament to the warrior that Simon truly is. He’ll be sorely missed in Philadelphia and questions abound as to how the Flyers will replace Simon both on the ice and in the locker room. It’s going to be difficult to assess how the Flyers do without him until all is said and done. In the meantime, Gagne likely will prosper with a talented group of studs in Tampa Bay.