Simon Gagne

Kings GM doesn’t expect Simon Gagne back this season


The Los Angeles Kings are red-hot right now, enjoying a run that earned them a slim Pacific Division lead. The addition of former Philadelphia Flyers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards has played a role in that, but one cannot help but wonder if another former high-scoring Philly forward would really put them over the top.

Unfortunately for the Kings, GM Dean Lombardi doesn’t believe that Simon Gagne will be back for them this season, according to a report by Rich Hammond.

Lombardi said that he “doubts” that the dangerous winger could return from concussion issues that have sidelined him since Dec. 26. That’s the sad story of Gagne’s career, really, injuries – particularly concussions – have short-circuited what would otherwise be a borderline All-Star producer’s effectiveness.

It’s not exactly as if the Kings could plead ignorance about his injury history, as that’s the neon-light-obvious reason why an otherwise potent player attracted little interest on the free agent market.

If Kings fans want a glimmer of hope, Hammond points out that Gagne is being evaluated on “a weekly basis,” so perhaps he could bounce back if the Kings manage to stick around in the playoffs for a while. Both of those matters seem like big “ifs,” but Gagne being healthy might actually be less likely.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.