NHL Free Agency: Simon Gagne Returns to the Philadelphia Flyers?

Dominic PerilliContributor IIIJune 3, 2011

TAMPA, FL - MAY 19:  Andrew Ference #21 of the Boston Bruins skates against Simon Gagne #12 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at St Pete Times Forum on May 19, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

A few days ago, there were some rumors flying around that the Flyers were looking to bring Simon Gagne back to Philadelphia.

Gagne is old and injury prone and that is EXACTLY why it would be wise for the Flyers to take a look at him yet again; he will certainly come cheap.

At 31-years-old, Gagne isn't the youngest player around, but he is still capable of producing at a consistent level if he's healthy. He could be a solid second or third line skater who nets about 20 goals per season.

With a relatively young Flyers team, they certainly could take all the leadership help they can get. Gagne is a veteran and has spent almost his entire career in Philadelphia.  

Don't get too excited though, Flyers fans. Ryan Bright of Philly Sports Daily points out that if "Gagne does take less money to play, it could be right back with the Lightning."

Why would Gagne go back to the LIghtning when he has a chance to return to Philadelphia? Bright writes:

The reason Gagne would look to the Lightning out of the gate is because he hand-picked them in the first place. Traded on July 19, 2010 by the Flyers for defenseman Matt Walker and a fourth-round draft pick, Gagne’s no-trade clause gave him say to where he would head next. He chose Tampa Bay.

Honestly, could you blame Simon for wanting to return to Tampa? The weather is awesome and the Lightning are a team that WILL win a championship in the next few years. Just get them a goaltender and some defense and you have a mirror image of the Vancouver Canucks.