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Gagne on Flyers’ Cleary pursuit: ‘It was like a slap in the face’

Sep 14, 2013, 12:34 PM EDT

Simon Gagne Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers missed out on signing Dan Cleary and now they’ve upset Simon Gagne because of it.

Gagne tells Mathias Brunet of La Presse out of Quebec, translated at Gagne’s website, he’s disappointed the Flyers led him along all summer only to pursue Cleary instead.

“When I heard [Tuesday] that they had given a contract to Dan Cleary, it was like a slap in the face. I’m disappointed. I knew that hockey was a business, but with all the positive discussions we had with the GM Paul Holmgren, I can’t believe I’m not back with them.”

Of course, Cleary won’t be in Philly as he signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings this week. For what it’s worth, Holmgren says he’s fine with Cleary going to Detroit, but that won’t do much to ease Gagne’s sore feelings.

Gagne finished last season with the Flyers scoring five goals with six assists in Philly to go along with the five assists he had with Los Angeles. The final month of the season saw Gagne hit his stride scoring three goals and five assists during the team’s final 13 games.

While the Flyers don’t have the cap space to spare to make a signing, that didn’t stop their pursuit of Cleary. Now if they wanted to go to Gagne as a Plan B, they may have missed that opportunity.

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Sep 14, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    If Holmgren did in fact string Gagne along, giving him indications that he’d be given a PTO or a contract, then I can fully empathize with him. But it wasn’t necessarily smart for Gagne to put all his eggs in one basket even if he is eternally loyal to the orange and black. I wish him all the best and hope he finds a spot somewhere this season. And hey, if the Flyers suffer an injury up front Gagne will probably be the 1st call (if he’s still available).

  2. kingsforever - Sep 14, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Holmgren is an idiot.
    Oh yeah thanks for your two best players PG (both directly and indirectly)

    • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 14, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      First off, Richards and especially Carter were not our best players. Even in their last season here Giroux had overtaken them as the face of the franchise. And secondly, it’s not as if the Kings and Blue Jackets robbed us. Simmonds and Voracek have each been more productive than Carter and Richards, respectively. And then throw in two building blocks in Schenn and Couturier (and the picks that turned into Cousins and Grossmann) and I’d do that trade over and over again. Have fun paying Richards and Carter a huge chunk of cap space ten years down the line.

      • kingsfan93 - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        First off, Richards and Carter WERE your best players at the time. Richards (as everyone in Philly knows that follows Flyers) knew that he wore his heart on his sleeve and that he was the heart of the team. Carter was your by far best goal scorer. Also, don’t sit here and tell me Simmonds (who i highly respect) and ESPECIALLY Voracek have each been more productive than Richards and Carter. I hope you were kidding? They come to the Kings and win the Stanley Cup. They were unbelievable in the playoffs, when it matters, too. Carter last year pots 26 goals in 48 games. He could of had and easy 40 goal season with the pace he was on. Simmonds and Voracek as your 2nd line forwards need to produce more, considering they average about 17min. a game.

      • narfmoo12 - Sep 14, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        Well since Kingsfan93 isn’t going to use facts, I’ll set him straight.

        Giroux and Briere both had more points than Richards and Carter in their last year in Philly. Next, you can’t pay a third center the money that Richards was making (because he was behind Giroux and Briere). Carter was always a one-trick pony, scoring goals but not playing defense or setting anyone up (how do you get 26 goals and just 7 assists? Carter was 12th on the Kings in assists). Phillyphanatic is dead on. Voracek, Simmonds, Couturier, Schenn, Grossmann and Cousins for Carter and Richards is a deal that every GM would make in a heart beat.

        Also to address more of your misinformed statements: Voracek had 22-24-46, while Carter had 26-7-33, so which one was better? Not Carter, so how can you say Voracek “ESPECIALLY” wasn’t more productive? Voracek and Simmonds combined to play about 90 seconds per game less than Richards and Carter, so I don’t know why you’re bringing minutes into this. Simmonds was 15-17-32, while Richards was 12-20-32. Call that a wash. Then throw in Couturier, Schenn, Grossmann and Cousins.

        Thanks for playing, but bring actual facts and not BS next time you want to argue with adults.

      • titansrbeast - Sep 14, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        Wow kingsfan93, you sure made yourself look smart with that big smart comment of yours!!

        /End sarcasm

        You actually sound like an idiot trying to make Carter and Richards sound needed in Philly…pretty sure they’ll be fine with what they have. If Richards and Carter were so great for Philly how come their stats matched current players on the Flyers roster? Oh wait, it’s because their not gods and can be traded just like anyone else. It was a great deal for Philly and if anything your just a Kings fan trying to sound smart about a team you clearly know nothing about.

        Btw I’m not a Flyers fan, but I don’t think you need to be to realize that the Flyers/Kings trade wasn’t such a bad one for Philadelphia.

      • DonkeyStick - Sep 14, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        Richards is not a true leader….he proved he could not handle the “C” in Philadelphia by his actions off the ice. He is a ROLE player and a good ROLE player. Carter….COME ON!!!! You can’t be serious. He almost had to go on suicide watch after being traded to the Blue Jackets. Another mental midget who displayed his true colors in many stretches of no shows throughout the years. You claim he Carter was the “best player”…..then why was he traded TWICE in less than 2 years? They’re both good ROLE players and that’s it.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 14, 2013 at 6:06 PM

        Since Narfmoo made my arguements for me I won’t go too deep in but it’s laughable how you believe you’re correct in this discussion when you’re not even aware of the fact that Voracek and Simmonds were more productive than Carter and Richards this past season. The pieces we got are all younger, cheaper, and more productive than Richards and Carter. So go on living in the delusional world where you think LA robbed the Flyers (eventho we didn’t even trade you Carter), bc any one with a brain and access to a stat-sheet could tell you you’re wrong. Like others have said, Richards and Carter were supplementary pieces to the Cup run, not integral parts. Without Quick the Kings wouldn’t have made it past the opening round.

        Voracek looks to be a 70+pt producer, Simmonds a 30-goal power forward, Schenn is a blue chipper with a high ceiling, and the same goes for Couturier. Add in Cousins, who projects as Brad Marchand-lite and Grossmann, a crease clearer who lives to block shots and hit ppl, and it’s obvious why the Flyers return was well worth the dumping of Richards, Carter, and their albatross deals.

      • bauxjangles - Sep 14, 2013 at 10:12 PM

        I think your point will be confirmed when all of your great picks are lifting the Cup in a Philly jersey. Until then, you just have an overpaid checking line player in Simmonds and a couple of could-bes. Even if your picks end up being something, you won’t have the cap space to afford to keep them because the gm dug himself a hole with his ridiculous contracts. Can Holmgren only count by fours? I don’t see why so much of the team gets a paycheck in the $4 million range.

    • biasedhomer - Sep 14, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      Richards and Carter were not the Flyers 2 best players.
      And when they were given the chance to be the 2 main players of the franchise, they failed to get the Cup.
      In LA, they are not the Kings 2 best players either. Kopitar, Doughty, and Quick are the main pieces, Richards and Carter are the compliments.

      • bauxjangles - Sep 14, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        Doughty is a flake. He only plays well on the east coast because he knows that’s when people are watching him. And Kopitar’s scoring is more likely to drought than California. Carter saved the kings last year.

      • biasedhomer - Sep 14, 2013 at 10:45 PM

        Doughty is one of the best defensemen in the league, and he’s only 23 and going to get better.

      • bauxjangles - Sep 15, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        Doughty was one of the best d-men in the league before opposing players knew his moves and while he was playing with Scuderi. He made a lot of mistakes that Scuderi saved his ass on.I will gladly retract my comments if he can earn his paycheck this year. I’m a Kings fan but Doughty needs to get it together.

  3. President Charles Logan - Sep 14, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    **smh** sigh.. face palm

  4. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 14, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Given the way Gags conducts himself both on and off the ice, you’d think the Flyers would’ve done better with handling this whole situation. Homer should step down and let’s see what Hextall can do. I know it won’t happen though. Well @ least not anytime soon.

    • blackandorangeforlife - Sep 14, 2013 at 10:42 PM

      Given Hexy was here before the Cleary PTO and having Gange on the LA roster tells me he was part of the decision not to bring Gange back!

  5. ivbc11 - Sep 14, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    cleary is where he belongs….. with the red wings!


  6. packerswin96 - Sep 14, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Nothing says class like Holmgern and the Flyers.

  7. chrisk61 - Sep 14, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    oh puh – LEASE,

    nearly 20 yr flyers season ticket holder here. gagne is pretty much done. injury prone. shell of former offensive self. as another flyers fan said on a philly website, only reason to sign gagne is to sell his jerseys to women…

  8. jimw81 - Sep 14, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    flyers fan boys need to give it up on gagne. he’s running on empty

    • biasedhomer - Sep 14, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      I don’t understand why Flyers fans are so eager to get him on the team. He can’t score much anymore, he is injury prone, and he wants a good amount of salary (~2 million).

      They can replace his spot in the lineup with a younger guy and let him prove himself.
      The fan base doesn’t seem to understand that this isn’t the Gagne that can put up 30 goals. This current Gagne will put up around 10 goals and 15 assists, and will miss at least one third of the season with injuries.

      • jimw81 - Sep 14, 2013 at 7:07 PM

        he sells jerseys for the woman.

  9. DonkeyStick - Sep 14, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    What exactly do the Flyers owe Gagne? He NEVER lived up to potential in all the years in Philadelphia and you can get the same production from a younger player for less money. Don’t understand the man crush people have with Gagne.

    • biasedhomer - Sep 14, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      He did live up to the potential. He was once one of the best LW in the league, potting in 20 to 40 goals with above average defense.

      • biasedhomer - Sep 14, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        30 to 40*

      • DonkeyStick - Sep 14, 2013 at 6:45 PM

        In Gagnes best season 79 pts (less than a point a game) he finished 27th in scoring (8th best LW). Only twice did he score 40 plus goals playing with Peter Forsberg passing to him. If you call that living up to potential I guess you’re correct. I always thought he should be a 100 plus scorer in his prime.

    • biasedhomer - Sep 14, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      You had him getting 100 points? For a guy taken with the 27th pick, that would have been a very very optimistic projection.

      He was top 10 in scoring for LW some years, but lets not forgot he was very good defensively at that position as well. He was pretty much a complete package. I would say he lived up to his potential, and he could have done more if not for the injuries that kept piling on towards the latter half of his career.

  10. pone27 - Sep 14, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    At the end of the day Flyers fans, one word:

    GOALTENDING…… Talk about it.

  11. andyreidisfat - Sep 14, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    @kingsfan …. Umm dude. You can look up how productive players are. When the guy said jake and Wayne are more productive, it wasn’t an opinion. It’s just they have put up more points than carter and Richards. Also as a kings fan you have to realize the reason they won the cup was the goalie right ? Don’t be all mad because the trade was better for the flyers. Your team won a cup, be happy about that, because in 3 years when Richards and carter are no longer the players they were and your team still owes them 5 years of high pay and can’t trade them the cups will be few and far between.

    • bauxjangles - Sep 14, 2013 at 10:19 PM

      And as a flyers fan, you are a leading expert in cups being few and far between

  12. girouxed - Sep 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    That’s business as usual. Not the first club to do it to a player, won’t be the last.

  13. jkaflagg - Sep 14, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Wow…..lotta people in Philly still upset about Richards & Carter…..All the analysis aside, the simple fact is that since the deals the Kings have won a Cup and reached the Conference Finals, while the Flyers (somehow) lost to the Devils and then failed to make the playoffs at all…..the Flyers have amassed some impressive talent and may in fact get back to the playoffs and contend for the Cup soon, but until that actually happens…’s gonna sting to see your former players fulfill their potential somewhere else…..

    • narfmoo12 - Sep 14, 2013 at 7:21 PM

      1. Nobody is upset about Richards and Carter, as some troll from LA tried to start a battle of wits, but was clearly unarmed.

      2. When somebody says “All the analysis aside”, that really means “let me ignore facts, logic, and intelligence so that I can make a dumb opinion that has no basis in reality.”

      3. Richards and Carter reached their potential in Philly. Then as role players (second or third line depending on the game), they won the Stanley Cup. The Flyers are in much better shape with Voracek, Simmonds, Couturier, Schenn, Grossmann and Cousins, along with having the cap space to re-sign Giroux, than they would be if Richards and Carter were still here.

      • moarjam - Sep 15, 2013 at 12:12 AM

        Ok flyers fans… Richards and carter were integral parts of the kings Stanley cup run. Just as they were integral parts of your run to the finals. Stop trashing them like they were some scrubs on your team. The whole booze thing was MADE UP and used as justification for trading them by your homer media. Briere and a few others on your team have said so. Pronger wanted to be ton gun so they were traded. You put your eggs in the Pronger basket and it didn’t pan out.

        As for the return…it was good. I wouldn’t be complaining if I were flyers fans. I also wouldn’t be so brazen to say it was a full on outright win. Richards and carter are proven champions…you say you wouldn’t want to build a team around them well the best team you’ve had in 10 years was built around them. Stop devaluing them. Schenn and couturier could be studs in the future but they have proven to be nothing but disappointments to this point. This could change as they are young. They are prospects. their future is unknown. They are not autmatically superstars bc they are suppose to be. Simmons and voracek are good players. But I wouldn’t be so quick to anoint voracek a stud after one good season just as fast as you are to dismiss BOB lucky for one good one in Columbus. Stop blindly waving the flyers flag and come up with an original opinion not out go the mind of the flyers brass.

      • illbringdabeers - Sep 15, 2013 at 9:37 AM

        @moarjam I thought that was very well said, and that’s coming from a Flyers fan

    • baldeagle22 - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      I’d like to go on record stating that Carter and Richards might not be the best former Flyer on the Kings roster…. Justin Williams, anyone?

  14. hockeyfan28 - Sep 14, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    I think people fail to realize the influence of one Ron Hextall who is now assistant GM and who had
    Gagne in L.A. I get the feeling he might have put a word or two in about signing Simone….who should retire a
    Flyer regardless

  15. kingsforever - Sep 15, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    At the end of the day, Richards and Carter won a Cup in LA and Simmonds and Schenn haven’t won in Philly

    Kings 1 Flyers 0

  16. kane987245 - Sep 15, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    To me, The Flyers should not be playing around with Cleary and hurting other people’s feelings. Seriously, the GM of the Flyers has shown one, distinct, attribute, being unable to address their most needing problems. Why is he going out trying to grab Cleary and potentially give him that big contract? He could have spend that money (Which in reality is “what Money?”) on a younger Goaltender to see what he can do and maybe be able to steal a gem.

    Not saying it would all work out had he done that, but the biggest problem for the Flyers is their GOALTENDING. Period. If he had address that at the very beginning, I do not think many of us would even be giving this article attention at all.

  17. bruinsfan19 - Sep 15, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Honesty the Richards carter deals have worked put in both teams favor. The flyers wanted to go with young talent and the kings want to add veteran pieces and they won the cup and the flyers are on the up and up so stop arguing and realize it was a great deal for both sides

  18. bruinsfan19 - Sep 15, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Worked out*

  19. matthewmacisaac - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    While Ceary is a good player, I think signing Gagne would be a better fit. He is no longer a 30+ goal scorer, but he plays PP, PK, and could play third line ( with occasional first or second line injury fill in time) seamlessly. I could see not signing him if they are trying to give one of their younger guys a shot, but not to sign Cleary who would probably also come at a larger cap hit. I would have loved to see Cleary in orange & black, but not at the expense of someone who gives roster flexibility like Gagne.

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