We wrote earlier about how the Flyers asked scoring winger Simon Gagne to waive his no-trade clause and now some teams are being bandied about as to a possible destination. The main team getting mentioned is the Los Angeles Kings as Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly tells us.
Aside from their obvious Flyer ties, the Kings are considered a prime target area because both general manager Dean Lombardi and assistant GM Ron Hextall are huge fans of the 10-year veteran, who is among the most likable Flyers on the roster and a fixture in the City of Philadelphia.
Certainly Ron Hextall having a role in the Kings front office is at play here, but there’s something else to think about as well. The Kings have been talked about since the get-go of free agency that they’re heavily involved in talks to sign left wing free agency super prize Ilya Kovalchuk. The word from numerous sources checking in on Kovalchuk talks have reported that he wants $10 million a year.
The Kings taking a long look at Simon Gagne as a trade possibility (perhaps dangling starting goaltender Jon Quick or prospect goaltender Jonathan Bernier) would be pretty ideal leverage to use against Kovalchuk to get his asking price down. Rich Hammond of the LA Kings Insider got an answer from Kings GM Dean Lombardi as to what, exactly is going on both on the Gagne and Kovalchuk fronts. Lombardi was rather straight-forward in his reply.
“We have been, and continue to, work, on a number of different scenarios. We do not anticipate any resolution tonight. if something changes, we will let you know.”
Sounds like a busy guy there and giving the, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” reply hammers things home a bit. Gagne would provide a nice scoring touch on the left wing of star center Anze Kopitar, but with Kovalchuk out there and taking in all offers, don’t expect the Kings to really get involved in anything involving Gagne unless negotiations with Kovalchuk go very sour.
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.