Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/15/10 at 09:02 AM ET
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
The Lightning apparently has interest in acquiring Flyers left wing Simon Gagne. It’s tough to tell how serious it is because no one within the organization has said so publicly, but it would be naïve to believe otherwise.
Put another way, why wouldn’t Tampa Bay at least inquire about a proven goals and points producer who is being shopped by a team desperate to clear cap space? And to put it even ANOTHER way: Why wouldn’t general manager Steve Yzerman be salivating over the possibility of having his top two lines be (left to right) Gagne-Vinny Lecavalier-Marty St. Louis and Ryan Malone-Steven Stamkos-Steve Downie?
Acquiring Gagne, 30, who in the past three seasons in which he was healthy scored 47, 41 and 34 goals, would make the Lightning automatic playoff contenders. It would spike ticket sales. It would make Tampa Bay relevant again in a market where it has been the butt of jokes the past two years. And, besides, what’s the harm in a little short-term gain while Yzerman decides what direction to take the team in the future?
added 7:07am, from Dave Fuller of the Toronto Sun,
Still one of the most dangerous left wingers in the NHL — when healthy — Gagne, 30, has only a year left on his deal and could become an unrestricted free agent next July 1.
The Leafs, New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings are thought to have the most interest in the explosive winger, though with a no-trade clause in his contract, Gagne retains the right to pick-and-choose. Unless the Flyers waive him, which seems unlikely.
So, what about Gagne joining the Leafs? Is general manager Brian Burke interested?
Well, he didn’t completely dismiss the notion when contacted Wednesday by e-mail.
“Not at this time,’ was his intriguing, though noncommittal response when asked about Gagne.
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