After sitting out last season, Simon Gagne is happy to have another chance at playing in the NHL. The veteran forward is in training camp with the Boston Bruins on a tryout contract.
"I was pretty happy that Boston called," Gagne, 34, told CSNNE.com Thursday. "I was looking for a team like them that wanted to go back and win a [Stanley] Cup, and a team that made sense with some open spots. They're going to give me my chance. I think not playing last year really makes me energized, and now I really want to play again."
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In 13 NHL seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Los Angeles Kings, Gagne has 287 goals and 597 points in 799 regular-season games. He's scored at least 20 goals seven times, and was part of the Kings team that won the Stanley Cup in 2012.
Gagne split the 2012-13 season between the Kings and Flyers, and had five goals and 16 points in 38 games. However the Flyers did not offer him a contract after the season. Gagne said he had tryout offers from other teams but opted to sit out 2013-14 to spend time with his family and rest from injuries that had plagued him the past few seasons.
He said watching from home wasn't bad, until the Stanley Cup Playoffs started.
"I didn't miss it that much during the season because it's 82 games," he said. "It's a long season. But when playoffs started it was pretty hard to watch. If I look at my career [the playoffs] are the time when I've had my most success. It's the most fun to play the game."
Gagne has 37 goals in 109 playoff games; his most memorable one came against the Bruins at TD Garden. Playing for the Flyers in the second round of the 2010 playoffs, Gagne scored the game-winning goal in Game 7, capping Philadelphia's comeback from a 3-0 series deficit and a 3-0 hole in the final game.
"I was walking in this morning by the entrance, and that's the first time I hadn't heard … I'm not going to say what they said. It was nice to have a nice entry at the Garden," Gagne said. "I was thinking about it. The year afterward they won the Cup, so maybe I was part of their learning situation at that time. Maybe I made them better after that."