So Long, Simon Gagne: That's All the Flyers Got in Return?

Andrew MasonCorrespondent IJuly 19, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 09:  Simon Gagne #12 of the Philadelphia Flyers falls to the ice with Andrew Ladd #16 of the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Six of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Wachovia Center on June 9, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

That's all?

After ten years with the Flyers and giving it his all through thick and thin, Simon Gagne is gone.  Everyone has heard about it for about two weeks now that he will be a goner because the Flyers were 3.1 million over the cap and he only had a year left on his deal. but most thought that the deal was for a goalie.

In return the Flyers get Matt Walker and a Fourth Round Pick.

Wait.  What?

Yes, Matt Walker yet another behemoth defensemen,  listed at 6 foot 3 and 214 pounds and a fourth rounder in next years draft. For those keeping track at home that gives the Flyers, eight NHL defensemen.  Five of whom who are making at least 3.2 Million. 

All combined now the Flyers are spending approximately 25.1 million on defense.  How much for goalies you ask? A wimpy 2.475 on two of them(if you want to add Backlund, it's 3.175).

After I heard I thought maybe he was an offensive defensemen.  Nope.  Five points last year.  But he did have 90 penalty minutes which would have been good for fifth on the team but most among defensemen beating Chris Pronger by eleven.  And he was -11 on the year while averaging just a shade over sixteen minutes of ice time.  To his credit he did have 116 blocked shots last season which is huge.

But in all honesty, this is not what I was expecting at all.

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I was expecting either for them to trade Gagne maybe for a prospect or draft picks or something along those lines to get be about 2.1 million under the cap and then either sign a goalie for cheap or trade someone else for one.

Or trade Gagne for a goalie say the unproven Bernier(age 21) or Quick(24), perhaps even Mike Smith(28) from Tampa who was not stellar but was on an average to bad Tampa team.  Even for Jaroslav Janus(20) or Riku Helenius(22), two Tampa Bay goalie prospects, who preformed decently well in the AHL and ECHL this year.

My overall point is I wanted to see a proven goalie or perhaps even an unproven goalie who is young.  Sorry Leighton(30), Boucher(31), and Backlund(28) but at those ages, and we still have no idea what we are getting each game from you, I would like some reassurance we have someone young to look forward to for the future or even rarer someone who is young and good(Quick for example, hell even Carey Price, but the door is slammed on him). 

A scary trend in the NHL similar to running backs in the NFL, once when goalies hit 30 it is a crapshoot of what you are getting.  Turco at 34 has not had a good year in three years though Dallas has been slightly down in that span, Turco was the backstop of the team similar to Brodeur in New Jersey.  Theodore at 33 is bouncing from a .500 goalie to a 30-7-7 in one year.  Nabokov is the shakiest goalie in the postseason at 35 and one of the big reasons he is going to Russia.  The list goes on...

I am waiting to be wrong on this one and I would like to see the other shoe to drop in which we get a goalie.  But at this time it does not seem likely.

For those people who are wondering what the Flyers have left in cap space post-deal: approximately 400,000 dollars.