The Kings have traded Simon Gagne back to the team where he played his first ten seasons -- the Philadelphia Flyers. In exchange, Los Angeles received a conditional 4th round pick. The pick will reportedly turn into a 3rd if the Flyers make the postseason.
Though Gagne lost most of the 2011-12 season to injury, he is fully healthy. Over the summer, we learned that Gagne had surgery to remove a lump of tissue from his neck (sometimes mis-reported as a tumor), and that symptoms once attributed to concussions might be gone for good:
The lump that was removed from Gagne was an accumulation of soft tissue caused by on-ice hits. It was likely the cause of the chronic pain experienced by Gagne, which has long been credited to concussions. After the tests taken by Gagne, it was discovered that this lump could be removed without danger. -Translation from Le Soleil via Passemoilapuck
Gagne averaged 13:46 minutes per game this season, and spent some time in the top six without scoring a goal. He hadn't played since February 17th, the 3-2 loss to Chicago. He had 5 assists in 11 games.
Los Angeles currently has a surplus of forwards, and rotated Penner and Gagne as healthy scratches. The timing of this move is somewhat odd, though, since they have no pressing cap concerns, and no apparent need to weaken their forward depth. Gagne's $3.5 million contract ends this season. We shall see if this is a precursor to a call-up from Manchester or some other move.
Gagne, who was a free agent signing in the summer of 2011, played just 45 regular season games with the Kings. His inspiring return to play in the middle of last year's Final earned him a place on the Cup.
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