Simon Gagne hasn’t exactly been a picture of health the past few seasons. His first year with the Los Angeles Kings pretty much summed up why we aren’t expecting to see too much more hockey out of the 32-year-old.
The knock on Gagne has always been that he can’t stay health. Mainly dealing with concussion issues, Gagne hasn’t appeared in more than 63 games but once since the 2007-2008 season. When he’s on the ice, Gagne is a very talented offensive player. It’s that “on the ice” thing that’s the problem, and the Kings certainly could have used the presence of a healthy Simon Gagne last year.
Gagne appeared in just 34 games in the regular season last year, but wasn’t particularly effective, with only 17 points on the year. He did manage to return to the playoffs and play four games in the postseason, but he wasn’t much of a factor there, either.
Given what we’ve seen from Gagne the past few seasons, even before he landed in Hollywood, you do have to wonder if he’ll be able to contribute much to the Kings’ title defense this season.
As of right now, Gagne says he is completely healthy. He had a health scare early in the summer with a mass in his neck, but that has been removed, elaving Gagne with almost a full summer to get completely healthy.
With a team that just won a Stanley Cup, and has their entire team returning, it’s going to be tough for Gagne to make his mark, especially given that the Kings performed so well without him last year. But there will be no shortage of folks pulling for Simon Gagne to come back strong in ’12-’13.
He may not play at the level at which he scored 40 goals twice, but a full summer should give him time to get healthy and come on strong with the Kings in 2012.