All good things must come to and end. After a stellar fourteen year NHL career, eleven of which were spent with the Flyers, Simon Gagne has finally decided to hang up the skates.
Gagne was selected by the Flyers in the first-round of the 1998 NHL Draft, twenty-second overall. He was drafted as a center but was quickly moved over to the left wing.
Gagne played 822 games in the NHL, 691 of them with the Flyers. He amassed 291 goals, 310 assists and 601 points. He accrued 37 goals and 59 points in 109 playoff games.
Gagne helped lead the Flyers to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2000 and 2004. His best season came in 2005-06 where he scored 47 goals and 79 points playing on a line with Peter Forsberg and Mike Knuble. He scored over 20 goals seven times in his career. Gagne was also an accomplished player on the international scene as well. He helped lead Team Canada to the Gold Medal in the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002.
Gagne scored some of the biggest playoff goals in Flyers history. Down three games to two against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2004 Conference Finals, Gagne scored the OT winner in Game 6 to send the series to a Game 7. In the 2010 Conference semi final against the Boston Bruins, the Flyers seemed dead in the water. They were down three games to none. Up to that point, only two teams in NHL history came back from a three games to none defecit. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs did it against the Detroit Red Wings in the 1942 Stanley Cup Finals and the 1975 New York Islanders did it against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1975 Quarterfinals. The Flyers were facing very long odds to say the least. Along comes Gagne to the rescue. He had suffered a broken foot earlier in the year but returned for Game 4 against the Bruins. Gagne was the spark the Flyers needed. He scored the OT winner in Game 4 that staved off elimination for the Flyers and served as the impetuous towards one of the greatest series comebacks in playoff history. The Flyers stormed all the way back to win the series against the Bruins with Gagne getting the series clinching goal in Game 7 of the series. The Flyers advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals with Gagne scoring nine goals that playoff year.
Gagne was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2011 where he helped lead them to the Conference Finals with 5 goals and 12 points in 12 games.
In 2012, Gagne was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. He was injured for much of the Kings playoff run, but returned for the Stanley Cup Finals. As a result of playing in the Game 6 final against the New Jersey Devils, Gagne earned his one and only Stanley Cup Ring.
Gagne finished his career with the Boston Bruins netting three goals. In his very last game against the Arizona Coyotes, Gagne scored the game winner. Gagne left the Bruins after the death of his father and didn’t return to the team for the rest of the year. Gagne has said he would like to return to hockey some time in the future, perhaps as a commentator.
Aside from all his on ice accomplishments, Gagne was the epitome of class both on and off the ice, always the gentleman. Hats off to Simon Gagne on a terrific NHL career.