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.