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.
- Bishop: ‘taller guys…can be just as athletic as the smaller guys’ 0
- Tire pump? Yzerman says Toews is ‘bigger, stronger, better’ than he was 3
- Devils officially announce John Hynes, becomes youngest NHL coach 4
- PHT arrives in Tampa, gets soaked (oh, and today is Media Day) 4
- Ex-Leafs goalie Pogge eyeing North American return 5
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? 82
- Zuccarello (brain contusion, skull fracture) was unable to speak after injury 28
- Overtime format highlights competition committee meeting agenda 16
- Report: Changes coming to compensation for executives 23
- Here’s your 2015 Stanley Cup Final schedule 34
- ‘Hawks rise to occasion in Game 7, head to SCF for third time in six years (95)
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? (82)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (76)
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win (65)
- Despite getting further than ever before, big game letdowns continue to haunt Boudreau (64)