RDS’ Renaud Lavoie reports that Los Angeles Kings winger Simon Gagne underwent neck surgery to remove a five-centimeter “mass” about three weeks ago. The good news is that Lavoie also reports that Gagne is “already 100 percent” and training for next season.
Gagne won his first Stanley Cup with the Kings last season, but he’d probably agree that he wasn’t always a big part of the team because of injuries. He only played 34 regular season games and four postseason contests in 2011-12 and has missed at least 19 games per season since 2007-08.
Most of those problems have either been related to concussions or nagging groin injuries. Either way, he’s been held back quite a bit by some bad health-related luck, making one wonder what could have been.
Even so, he’s nearing 300 career goals and 600 points (Gagne is at 283 goals and 581 points now), so he’s carved out a solid living anyway. Perhaps he can get a little more luck in that area and help the Kings defend their championship, but if nothing else, he dodged a legitimate scare weeks ago.
From the Southampton Press:
Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.
According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.
Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.
As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”
He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.
Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?
Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.
Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.
The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.
“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.
The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.
Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.