After the Philadelphia Flyers re-signed prospect Brandon Manning, it became clear that the team has yet to re-sign one important player. Since the Manning signing marks the 49th contract of a 50 contract maximum, the Flyers really can only sign one remaining player.
So are they ever going to re-sign veteran forward Simon Gagne? If the team has any intentions to keep Gagne on, wouldn’t they have already done so?
When the Flyers re-acquired Gagne from the Los Angeles Kings late in the season, it quickly became clear that he asked for the trade since he was not getting enough ice time. Gagne was always a fan favorite and the Flyers love bringing back old players (see also Brian Boucher, Ruslan Fedotenko, Mike Knuble, etc.) so it made sense to them to make this deal.
One of the reasons that Gagne was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first place, was because he is very injury prone and he became a liability to the team. So why then did the Flyers bring him back?
One of the speculations was that they were lining up Gagne to be traded alongside Danny Briere. That never came to fruition, but another prediction was that Gagne was looking to retire and the Flyers did the classy thing by bringing him back so he could retire in a black and orange sweater. Is that why they haven’t re-signed him?
To be fair, is it not really in the team’s best interest to re-sign Gagne. Although fans really love him, he is getting up in age and the Flyers are clearly moving to becoming a more younger and agile team. In his 38 games with the team last season, Gagne was only a bit influential with his 16 points, five goals and 11 assists, but are his stats enough for the team to re-sign him? Perhaps not.
If the Flyers do intend to re-sign the veteran, it will be the last signing they can legally do in the offseason and they better do it soon. However, at this point, it does not appear likely.