Simon Gagné (born February 29, 1980) is a Canadian professional ice hockey left winger for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL). Prior to Los Angeles, he spent the first 10 seasons of his NHL career with the Philadelphia Flyers (1999-10) and another with the Tampa Bay Lightning (10-11). On June 11, 2012, he won the Stanley Cup with the Kings.
Drafted out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) 22nd overall in 1998, Gagné played major junior with the Beauport Harfangs and Quebec Remparts for three seasons. He began his NHL career with the Flyers in 1999 and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. He has appeared in two NHL All-Star Games and has won two Bobby Clarke Trophies with the Flyers as team MVP.
Internationally, Gagné has represented Team Canada on five occasions. He has won silver medals at the 1999 World Junior Championships and 2005 World Championships, while winning gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics and a World Cup championship in 2004.
Gagné was 16 when he broke into the QMJHL as a member of the Beauport Harfangs during the 1996–97 season. Playing mostly on the third and fourth lines, Gagné finished with 31 points (9 goals and 22 assists) in 51 games. The following two seasons, he would play with the Quebec Remparts, totalling 189 points (80 goals and 109 assists) in 114 games, including a 120-point season in 1998–99. That year, he finished sixth in league scoring, was named to the QMJHL Second All-Star Team and was awarded the Paul Dumont Trophy as the “personality of the year”. Gagné also recorded 20 goals and 13 assists for 33 points in 25 career playoff matches with the Remparts. After the 1998–99 season, Gagné graduated to the pro ranks, and the Remparts retired Gagné’s #12 jersey during a ceremony early on in the 1999–2000 season. Gagné joined Hockey Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur as the only two players that have had their jerseys retired by the Quebec Remparts (Alexander Radulov’s number has also since been retired by the Remparts).
Gagné played ten seasons with thePhiladelphia Flyers.
Gagné was drafted 22nd overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and made the Flyers out of training camp prior to the 1999–2000 season. His rookie season saw him play primarily at centre and score 20 goals and 28 assists in 80 games, good enough to be named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. He chipped in 5 goals and 5 assists in 17 games during the playoffs before the Flyers lost in seven games to the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The following season, he was converted from centre to wing. Playing on a line with Mark Recchi and Keith Primeau in the 2000–01 season, Gagné scored 27 goals and 32 assists in 69 games and took part in his first NHL All-Star Game. During the All-Star Game he scored 2 goals including the game winning goal for the North American team. 2001–02 saw him score 33 goals and tally a career high 33 assists in 79 games. A nagging groin injury limited Gagné to 46 games and career lows in goals, assists, and points in 2002–03. The next season, Gagné posted 24 goals and 21 assists in 80 games. He also scored a big overtime goal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. However, the Flyers were eliminated in Game 7.
Once the 2004–05 NHL lockout came to an end, Gagné assumed a greater role on the Flyers and played most of the year as the left winger on the top line with Peter Forsberg and Mike Knuble. The line became known as the “Deuces Wild” line due to their numbers (12 – Gagné, 21 – Forsberg, 22 – Knuble) and Gagné responded with his best season as a pro with 47 goals and 79 points in 72 games. He was awarded the Bobby Clarke Trophy, which is awarded to the Flyers Team MVP. Gagné was given a 5-year contract extension in the off-season, worth over $25 million. Despite not having Forsberg as his centre for much of the 2006–07 season due to injury and Forsberg’s eventual trade to the Nashville Predators, Gagné scored 41 goals and 27 assists in 76 games and won his second consecutive Bobby Clarke Trophy. He also played in his second NHL All-Star Game.
In the 2007–08 season, Gagné recorded 18 points in 25 games before being shut down for the year on February 20 after being told to sit out by doctors. Although it was believed Gagné had suffered three concussions in five months, he was told by doctors that he only had one and further injuries re-aggravated the symptoms. He suffered the initial concussion on October 25, 2007, when he was hit in the jaw with a check from Florida Panthers defenceman Jay Bouwmeester. Gagné sat out four games and returned only to be hurt again on November 7. After missing the next 26 games, he was re-injured on his first shift back on February 10, 2008 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Gagné follows after several previous Flyers player who have suffered serious concussions. Former captain Keith Primeau had his career ended prematurely due to concussions suffered while playing in Philadelphia, while Jeremy Roenick nearly retired after suffering one himself.
Gagné had a strong return in the 2008–09 season, scoring 34 goals, 74 points, and posting a +21 in 79 games. However, injury troubles persisted in 2009–10. Less than a month into the season, Gagné was placed on the injured reserve after being diagnosed with a double hernia in his groin in late-October 2009. Although the Flyers’ orthopedic surgeon recommended surgery, Gagné opted for a second opinion with his personal doctor in Montreal. Soon thereafter, Gagné did in fact opt for surgery, performed on November 3. The surgery repaired the two small hernias in his right groin laparoscopically through his belly button, while reinforcing his rectus abdominus on both sides. Gagné returned to action on December 19, against the New York Rangers after missing 24 games. He scored his third career hat trick and first career natural hat trick just 11 days after returning from injury against the Rangers, December 30, 2009. He finished the season with 40 points in 58 games. After defeating the second-seeded New Jersey Devils in the opening round of the 2010 playoffs, in which Gagné was injured, the Flyers met the Boston Bruins in the second round. After going down 3–0 in the series without Simon Gagné, the alternate captain returned for Game 4. He scored the game-winning goal in overtime, and chipped in two goals in Game 5. After the Flyers became just the sixth team to force a game seven after being down 3-0, Gagné scored the series-winning goal in the third period of Game 7 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Flyers became the third team in NHL history to come back from a 3–0 deficit in a series and win.
Tampa Bay Lightning
On July 19, 2010, Gagné was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Matt Walker and a 2011 fourth round pick. He recorded 17 goals with 23 assists for the Lightning that year, to go with another five goals in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Los Angeles Kings
After just one season in Tampa Bay, Gagné became an unrestricted free agent. On July 2, 2011, he signed a two-year contract worth $7 million with the Los Angeles Kings. He scored his first goal as a Kings player on October 13, 2011, against Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils. During the regular season he appeared in 34 games and tabulated 10 goals with 17 points overall. On June 11, 2012, he won the Stanley Cup over the Devils. For the playoffs, he appeared in 4 games but did not record a point.
Simon is married to Karine and has a son, Matthew, born June 2, 2009, and a daughter, Lily Rose, born February 14, 2011.
Gagné has represented Canada internationally on five different occasions.
|Competitor for Canada|
|Men’s ice hockey|
|Gold||2002 Salt Lake City|
|World Junior Championships|
Gagné debuted internationally with Team Canada at the 1999 World Junior Championships in Manitoba. Playing as the host country, Canada made it to the gold medal game against Russia, but lost in overtime to earn the silver medal. Gagné scored seven goals and an assist in seven games to finish second in team scoring behind Daniel Tkaczuk’s 10 points.
Three years later, Gagné made his senior debut with Team Canada at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, scoring four points in six games to help Canada to their first Olympic ice hockey gold medal in 50 years over the host country United States.
Prior to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Gagné competed in the 2004 World Cup, where he captured his second consecutive international championship with Team Canada, contributing two points in six games. Due to the Philadelphia Flyers’ consistent playoff runs in the NHL, Gagné did not appear in a World Championships until 2005, with the NHL lockout still in effect. He finished the tournament with an international career-high 10 points in nine games, third in team scoring behind Rick Nash and Joe Thornton as the three Canadians finished 1-2-3 in tournament scoring. However, as Canada made it to the gold medal game, they were shut out by the Czech Republic 3–0.
The following year, Gagné was named to his second national Olympic team to compete at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. Attempting to defend their gold medal from 2002, Canada was, however, defeated in the quarterfinals by Russia and finished in seventh place. Gagné tallied three points in five games.
Named to the 2009 summer camp roster for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Gagné injured his groin and was forced to leave camp on August 25, 2009.
Regular season and playoffs
|2004–05||DNP — Lockout||NHL||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||63||17||23||40||-12||20||15||5||7||12||6||4|
|2011–12||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||34||7||10||17||-1||18||4||0||0||0||-1||2|
|Junior int’l totals||7||7||1||8||2|
|Senior int’l totals||26||6||13||19||4|
- Named to the QMJHL Second All-Star Team in 1998–99.
- Named to the NHL All Rookie Team in 1999–2000.
- Played in the NHL All-Star Game in 2001 and 2007.
- Won the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial (Philadelphia Flyers’ most improved player) in 2000–01.
- Won the Toyota Cup (Philadelphia Flyers’ most three stars selections) in 2001–02, 2005–06 and 2006–07.
- Won the Bobby Clarke Trophy (Philadelphia Flyers’ MVP) in 2005–06 and 2006–07.
- Won the Stanley Cup in 2012 with the Los Angeles Kings.