Just a few hours after being turned down in favor of the Rangers by Brad Richards, the Kings signed Simon Gagne to a 2-year deal worth $7 million. The Kings were rumored to be after Gagne last season as well, but did not manage to sign him, mostly due to the huge distraction of the Kovalchuk debacle.
Gagne had a rough season in Tampa, sustaining an injury from an awkward fall against the boards and missing 19 games. Still, Gagne scored 17 goals in 63 games and was effective in the playoffs, notching 12 points in 15 games and managing a plus-6.
Gagne’s mixture of defensive responsibility and scoring prowess makes him a very capable left wing. Gagne is a two-time All-Star and has a Gold Medal in the 2002 Olympics.
In his career, the 31 year-old Gagne has 276 goals in 727 games. Gagne has seven 20+ goal seasons, four of which are 30+ and two 40 goal season. Gagne no doubt would have several more 20+ goal season had he not succumbed to injury so often.
That, of course, will be the knock on Gagne. Can he stay healthy for the Kings? If so, the Kings have a very potent offensive weapon. Gagne’s signing was not hindered by any injury issue, so the Kings will be expecting him to enter the season healthy.
With Gagne on the roster, the Kings have a very strong top-6. Let’s have a look at the new offensive lineup:
Penner – Kopitar – Williams
Gagne – Richards – Brown
Parse – Stoll – Lewis
Clifford – Richardson/Fraser – Westgarth
Gagne and Richards have played together before, so expecting them to regain some chemistry is not far-fetched. Each of the Kings top-6 forwards have 30-goal seasons under their belts. Stoll on the 3rd line is a much better fit. Parse gets a shot on the 3rd line to show he has the scoring touch we’ve been hearing about. This roster works on many levels.
A big question is whether Loktionov will get a shot on the main roster. If not, he will likely get his fair share of cups of coffee in Los Angeles.
Is Lombardi finished or does he have more up his sleeve? Go Kings!
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney