All of the experts around hockey have been putting the Flyers aside from the top echelon of teams because of their low-key offseason. Saying things such as, "The Flyers made a big impact last season with guys such as Briere, Timonen, but seemed to stay in the fog this offseason." I really wish they would look deeper into their spiral notebooks and see what the Flyers have coming back to them this season.
Simon Gagne was limited to only 25 games last season due to concussion symptoms and is now looking better and stronger than ever. He went through a rigorous offseason training program that put him in his words, in "better shape than I was before last season."
Now I could be wrong, but I believe in the last two full seasons that Gagne has played he has scored 88 goals, with 47 in 05-06 and then 41 in 06-07. To me, and not because I write for them or am towing the company line, that is better than any free agent that was out there this offseason.
This season Gags will be coming into this season hopefully 100% and will have a chance to better his relationship on the ice with Danny Briere who never had a chance to really produce any magic last season together. Expect the Flyers to have them on the same line and if Gagne can stay healthy for over 70 games or so, to put up similar totals as those 47 and 41 tallies he had a short time ago.
Gags is only 28-years-old going into the season, its not like he is about to turn 35 and is on the last year of a contract. If healthy he is just entering the prime of his career, now what free agent in this past offseason would be better than what a 100% Gagne can be?
Training Camp begins Sat. Sept. 20 for the Flyers in Voorhees, NJ. I will be attending those practices and be getting quotes from all the players to provide you with all the info I can. Please keep your eyes glued to my articles because don't be surprised if the Flyers name their captain in a week or two.