Philadelphia Flyers forward Simon Gagne stated that he is interested in remaining with the team beyond this season, according to Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News.
Gagne is playing in the final year of a two-year, $7 million contract that carries an annual average value of $3.5 million against the salary cap. He will become an unrestricted free agent this July.
The 33-year-old forward said it would be an easy decision to remain with the Flyers if general manager Paul Holmgren came to him with a contract offer. In fact, Gagne said he would be willing to take less money than his current cap hit.
Considering Philadelphia's contentious relationship with the salary cap, this kind of concession is a favorable development.
Gagne expressed a desire to win another Stanley Cup and stated that he believes his family is most comfortable in Philadelphia. Originally selected with the No. 22 overall pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the Flyers, Gagne has played 686 of his 794 career regular season games with the team.
He was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning following the 2009-10 season as a casualty of the salary cap. After playing out the year with the Lightning, he signed his current two-year contract with the Kings as a free agent. Earlier this season, he was traded to Philadelphia for a conditional fourth-round draft pick.
In 22 games with the Flyers, Gagne has performed well. He's no longer the player he was earlier in his career but he has proven a valuable asset to the forward group and has managed to spend time throughout the lineup. This kind of versatility can't be overlooked.
The real issue in retaining Gagne comes down to his salary. If he truly is willing to take less money to stay with the Flyers, then it seems likely the organization would look to retain him.