Simon Gagne traded to Tampa!
Earlier today the Flyers sent Simon Gagne to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Matt Walker and a 4th round pick in the 2011 draft. Simon Gagne had a no trade clause he had to waive and he gladly waived it to go to the Lightning. The Flyers needed to dump the salary. Gagne is in the final year of his contract and will be making $5.25million. Some people are saying this is a risky move for Tampa considering Gagne is injury prone, especially considering all of the concussions he has had. Tampa GM Steve Yzerman addressed the fact that people are saying this was a risky move, “You mention a concussion,” said Yzerman. “It was a few years ago. Virtually everybody that’s played in the league for an amount of time has missed time with injuries." Since becoming the new GM of the Lightning Steve Yzerman has really signed some nice pieces to the Lightning roster. He has signed Dan Ellis and Pavel Kubina who are solid additions for this team considering they lost Kurtis Foster and dealt defenceman Andrej Meszaros to the Flyers for a 2nd round pick in 2012 to free up money. He also signed back Martin St. Louis to a 4 year extension worth $22.5 million dollars. Mike Smith hasn't been a productive number one goalie in Tampa and now with Ellis there, they have a solid number one goalie in Ellis. Yzerman was quoted as saying "In adding Simon to the Lightning, we acquire a very talented player that will play alongside our top forwards," "With his combination of speed and skill we are excited to have him with us and grateful he was willing to waive his no movement clause." Adding Simon Gagne just made their offense very solid upfront. Simon Gagne last year had 40 points in 58 games which isn't bad at all. He also had 12 points in 19 playoff games for the Flyers when they made their run to the finals. If you look at his numbers in the 08-09 season he had 74points in 79games with 34 goals. Gagne is very talented player if he can stay healthy. Now going to a Tampa squad who has already Vinny Lecavalier, St.louis, Steve Stamkos and Ryan Malone they could do some damage in the Eastern Conference. St. Louis helped Stamkos have a breakout year last season with 95 points and 51 goals. Tampa bay really needed another offensive player up front because last season they were tied for 24th in the NHL for scoring with only 216 goals. This team is looking up now and in great hands with Yzerman under the helm. Now Lecavalier has a top winger to play alongside him in Gagne. Gagne can definitely put up anywhere from 65 to 80 points if healthy this upcoming season. Tampa's only problem is they need to add some more depth. They need some gritty wingers up front to fill the void, and more depth on defense. Yzerman so far as the Tampa GM has got a letter grade of A from me, but lets see what other pieces he can add to this team. They still need some defense on the back end and few more forwards upfront. There are many guys out there. They could take Maxim Afinogenov on a one year deal, Raffi Torres is a gritty winger, Alexander Frolov if they have the cap space, Jonathan Cheechoo could work out, and many more. Miro Satan, Donovan, Guerin and a Darcy Tucker to name a few guys. On defence Yzerman should look into Willie Mitchell if he has rehabbed from his concussion, or Ruslan Salei would look good in a Lightning uniform. This team looks like it will have a great season this year and I predict that the Lightning will make the playoffs in the Eastern conference. To do so will be a challenge, but as long as their guys can stay healthy, and Yzerman can add a couple of defenceman and two or three wingers. I feel they have talent to make it this season especially with a true number one goalie now in Ellis and adding Gagne just made them a more powerful team upfront. Lets wait and see what happens. I think Yzerman is not done yet. He was a winner during his playing career, and now he wants this team to be a winner and he won't stop until they are.