Monday, July 19, 2010

Flyers deal Simon Gagne to the Lightning

The Flyers have finally gotten themselves under the cap, trading Simon Gagne to the Lightning in exchange for defenseman Matt Walker and a 4th round draft pick. So ends the Philly career of the longest tenured Flyer.

For the Flyers, this move was all about moving salary and not about what they were getting in return. Considering Gagne is injury-prone and set to make 5.25 million next year and will be a free agent after next season, the Flyers were lucky to get anything in return. So, while Walker and a draft pick aren't anything to get too excited about, understand that everyone in the NHL knew the Flyers needed to dump salary so they weren't about to give up anything good to get Gagne.

With the trade, the Flyers are now about a million dollars under the salary cap. Matt Walker will make 1.7 million dollars for the next three years and will, at best, be the Flyers 7th defenseman. While Walker, a 7 year veteran, is a big, physical d-man, there is a chance the Flyers will look to bury him in the minors and let Oskars Bartulis remain the 7th d-man, giving them even more salary cap space. Either way, my hope is that the Flyers next move will be to dump Riley Cote, who is currently the Flyers 13th forward, and finally sign restricted free agent Darroll Powe to take his place.

Losing Gagne, who has spent 10 years with the Flyers, is a little painful, but it was the right move for the Flyers. Sure, it would have been nice to see Gagne spend his entire career in the Orange and Black but he was going to be leaving town as a free agent at the end of next season, anyway. Given how much Gagne makes, he was the right player to move to get the Flyers out of their salary cap mess.

So long, Simon and thanks for all you did with the Flyers. I will always wonder how good you could of been if all those injuries hadn't slowed you down.

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