May 25, 2012, 3:34 PM EDT
There was quite a sight at the Kings’ first practice in preparation for the Stanley Cup finals today — forward Simon Gagne took part.
This is the furthest step in the 32-year-old’s recovery from a concussion suffered on Dec. 26. Gagne missed 48 games during the regular season — and, obviously, all 14 of L.A.’s playoff games — and only recently resumed skating with the Kings’ prospects and Black Aces.
(Frozen Royalty’s Gann Matsuda reports Gagne said he’s “back to 100% and is symptom-free.”)
Gagne skated on the scratch/fifth line at practice and while his return lit up Twitter and message boards, many L.A. media members — including the L.A. Times’ Helene Elliott — said they can’t see Gagne in the lineup for the Cup finals.
That said, it would be a great story if he could.
Gagne signed a two-year, $7 million deal with Los Angeles last summer with the expectation of being a top-six forward (he also contributed to the “Flyers West” theme that started with Mike Richards and assistant coach John Stevens, later continued with Dean Lombardi’s trade deadline acquisition of Jeff Carter.)
Two things to consider here, even though his return is unlikely:
1) Gagne’s been to a conference and Stanley Cup final, but he might never have a better chance to hoist Lord Stanley’s mug. He’s probably desperate to get back in.
2) The Kings organization has all but ruled out Gagne’s return, but remember that Vancouver did the same thing with Manny Malhotra last postseason…until he returned for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals.
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman 9
- Devils post-Martin Brodeur era about to truly start 1
- Report: Rangers expected to announce captain on Thursday 10
- Snider: Flyers not hiding behind ‘horrible mistake’ of signing Bryzgalov 18
- P.K. Subban: ‘I’m not trying to change the game of hockey’ 21
- Demand for Canucks tickets plummeting according to broker 36
- Report: Johansen, Blue Jackets talking contract 7
- NHL waiting on World Cup announcement, Olympics decision 9
- Leiweke calls out ‘just terrible’ character of certain players in Leafs organization 30
- Crosby: Pens must ‘find a way to get over that hump’ 13
- Will future tweaks be enough to salvage NHL 15? (50)
- This Darcy Kuemper-Minnesota Wild situation doesn’t sound good (40)
- Boychuk doesn’t want to be traded, but has no control over the matter (39)
- Demand for Canucks tickets plummeting according to broker (39)
- The KHL’s really trying to mow Minnesota’s lawn (38)