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At the Rink blog

Flyers excited to welcome back Gagne

Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 12:30 PM

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Flyers excited to welcome back Gagne

VOORHEES, N.J. -- The news of Simon Gagne returning to the Philadelphia Flyers added a bit of energy to the locker room following Wednesday's morning skate.

"It's exciting," Danny Briere said. "It's fun to see an ex-teammate come back in the fold. Having someone you know, that you played with, that you fought battles with before, it's fun to have him back on your side."

The Flyers acquired Gagne from the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday for a 2013 fourth-round draft pick, and likely will have him in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

Gagne took an overnight flight from Los Angeles, arriving in Philadelphia not long after sunrise and was excused from the morning skate. However, having not played since Feb. 17 -- he was a healthy scratch in the Kings' previous five games -- it's likely Gagne will have a bit of extra jump in his step.

"I think anytime you get traded to a team you get a boost of adrenaline," Brian Boucher said. "When it's your old team it's even double that. It's a big game for us tonight and hopefully he can … we're not looking for him to carry the team by any stretch, but at the same time hopefully he can give us a shot of energy."

Gagne played his first 10 NHL seasons with the Flyers, the team that selected him with the 22nd pick of the 1998 NHL Draft, and he ranks ninth on the team's all-time scoring list with 259 goals and 524 points. He also was a top Stanley Cup Playoff performer, scoring an overtime goal in Game 6 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals, and the winning goal in Game 7 of the Flyers' 2010 conference semifinal series against the Boston Bruins, in which the Flyers came back from a 3-0 series deficit.

His experience in Philadelphia also should make for a simple adjustment. He played for coach Peter Laviolette, and was teammates with nine players on the roster.

"I think there's always a little bit of an adjustment when a player comes to a team," Laviolette said. "I think it's easier when they've been there and played for the coach and know a lot of the players and the system, that does make it a little bit easier."

Gagne has five assists in 11 games, but the Flyers believe his all-round skills will help.

"He's an experienced forward that comes in and gives us a lot of different options in how to use him," Laviolette said. "He's a smart defensive player, he's a proven goal scorer, can kill some penalties, can help on the power play. He brings a lot to the table and to our lineup, along with some experience."

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Quote of the Day

They said, 'You're going to love the city. It's smaller than Philadelphia, but you're going to love it. You're going to love the fans. Just watching the playoffs last year, the fans seemed louder there than they did anywhere. I'm really excited about that.

— Forward Scott Hartnell on his upcoming season with the Columbus Blue Jackets