The Philadelphia Flyers
announced that they have re-signed 6’0”, 195-pound left wing Simon Gagne
to a new five-year contract, according to club General Manager Bob Clarke.
“I flew up to Montreal this afternoon and met with Simon Gagne
and (Gagne’s agent) Bob Sauve and we reached an agreement on a new five-year contract between the Flyers and Simon,” said Clarke in making the announcement. “I thought that we had to get it done somehow. I hoped that if the three of us could sit down and discuss our differences, we would be able to iron them out. We wanted Simon and he wanted to stay here. Bob Sauve is a real good, decent, reasonable man. We just sat around for two or three hours and got it done.
“When a player misses training camp, it is disruptive for the player and for the team. It was critical to our organization to get Simon signed and to get him signed for a number of years. It’s a five-year deal so this is really good for our organization and we’re really happy that it is done.
“Gagne is one of the better two-way players in game. For a player at his level, it is always hard to distinguish who is better because they are all great. He fits into that mold. I know that he’s next to (Peter) Forsberg (in skill) on our roster. He is one of the better players in the league.”
“It’s a pretty good day for myself and my family for sure,” said Gagne. “When I was drafted by the Flyers, my dream was first of all, make the team and play, and to get a contract after that. It is very tough to believe that I am signing a pretty nice contract like this and I will be with the Flyers for the next five years. It is the city that I love. I have my house there. I love the place and the fans. I always wanted to get this done with Bob and finally today we met and the three of us got it done. It was pretty fun to shake the hand of Clarkie after a couple of hours of talking.
“I am pretty excited right now and I cannot wait to pack up my stuff and drive to Philly tomorrow.”
Gagne, 26, recorded 47 goals and 32 assists for 79 points and 38 penalty minutes in 72 regular season games for the Flyers during the 2005-06 season. He added three goals and one assist for four points in six playoff games. Gagne led the team in goals (47, seventh in the NHL), points (79, tied for 27th in the NHL), plus/minus (+31, tied for sixth in the NHL) and shots (334, fifth in the NHL) and won the Bobby Clarke Trophy as team MVP and the Toyota Cup based on the most “Star-of-the-Game” selections. Gagne led the team in average time on ice among forwards (20:46), was tied for first on the team in game-winning goals with seven (tied for 11th in the NHL) and was second on the team in power play goals with 12. He led the NHL in goals scored at even strength (33) and was fourth in the NHL in goals per game (0.65). His 47 goals tied for the 15th most in team history and he was the first Quebec-born NHL player to score 40 goals in a season since Mario Lemieux
scored 50 goals during the 1996-97 season (also was first Quebec-born player to score 40 goals for the Flyers). His 47 goals and 79 points were new single season career highs.
Over his seven-year career with the Flyers (1999-2000 through 2005-06), Gagne has registered 160 goals and 164 assists for 324 points and 155 penalty minutes in 426 regular season games. Gagne was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team following the 1999-2000 season, played in the 2001 NHL All-Star Game, played for Team Canada in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and was a member of the gold medal-winning Canadian National Team at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and again represented Canada in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. He was originally drafted by the Flyers from the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the first round (22nd overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.