Flyers consider inviting Gagne to camp


For 27 games, Philadelphia Flyers fans were able to watch Simon Gagne back in the team’s uniform once more.

One would think that the 33-year-old winger would be lost in the numbers game for the cap-challenged team, but that might not be true. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday that the team is “kicking around” the idea of inviting Gagne to training camp for a paid try-out.

“But I’m sure he’s getting calls from other teams, too,” Holmgren said. “I have no gut feeling as to what Gagne will do.”

While familiarity could help the Flyers’ cause, the team is currently about $2 million above the salary cap ceiling, so they couldn’t re-sign Gagne upon watching him try out even if they wanted to.

If Gagne gets antsy or simply gets an offer from another team, then this could all fall through. Of course, the Flyers could also pass on a talented but injury-marred forward.

Still, Flyers fans might delight at the idea of some more time with a fan favorite.

In other good Flyers news, Holmgren told the Inquirer that he believes banged-up defensemen Braydon Coburn, Nick Grossmann and Andrej Meszaros could enter next season in close to full health.

Rangers GM: Etem had ‘pretty average’ training camp

Kimmo Timonen, Emerson Etem
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It looks like Emerson Etem survived the New York Rangers’ training camp cuts, but that doesn’t mean he thrived.

Instead, it sounds like he has a lot of room to improve, especially considering this quote from Rangers GM Jeff Gorton via the New York Post:

“His camp has been pretty average, and I think he knows that, I think we all know that,” Gorton said. “We’ve known him for a long time. We know the player, we scouted the player, we’ve liked what we’ve seen. He’s yet to show that to maybe all of you guys, but we have faith that in time he’s going to show us that.”

Fair or not, many will turn the heat up a little bit extra on Etem if he struggles because he was part of the trade that sent Carl Hagelin to the Anaheim Ducks.

At 23, he’s at that awkward stage where he’s producing nicely at the AHL level but struggling to put up points in the NHL.

He has time to develop, yet as a first-rounder (29th overall in 2010), the word “bust” is lingering off in the distance. It sounds like he didn’t take a great step in the other direction this month, either.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.