We mentioned yesterday how the Flyers don't have much leverage in trade talks surrounding forward Simon Gagne. He has one year left on his contract, but the 30-year-old plays a lot older than just 30. He's injury-riddled, and teams are not necessarily willing to take that chance.
At the same time, the Flyers have gone from a position of salary cap wealth this season to the difficult spot of being over the cap by about $2 million. For that reason, teams look at a trade of Gagne as a salary dump, effectively lowering his value because everybody knows the Flyers need to make some kind of move.
The small return the Flyers will likely get for Gagne is probably enough for some teams to at least make a few phone calls and check out the premises, despite number 12's injury history. Which teams might be interested?
Gagne would be a nice acquisition. The Flyers are apparently so keen on moving Gagne, that they admitted that they would consider waiving him if no one tried to make a trade for him. Under circumstances like that, their asking price can't be very high--especially if they're not going to be taking salary back in return (which they won't be). It would probably cost a prospect and a pick, maybe a 3rd rounder. If they demand more, walk, this is not a do or die deal.
From a Rangers perspective I honestly don't see how this doesn't work out. The Rangers would add a two time 40 goal scorer, and a guy who could pretty much be a lock for 20+ goals, with the potential to hit 30. Adding another player like that into the mix--along with other 20-goal guys like Marian Gaborik, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan and Vaclav Prospal--might be the extra push that the Rangers need to turn into playoff contenders. Plus it's just another guy to alleviate some of the scoring pressures off of Gaborik.
The largest of questions, of course, is whether or not the Flyers would trade Gagne within the division, to arguably their biggest, most-hated rival. Of course, they traded Eric Lindros to the Rangers years ago, which some might see as a similar deal. But the difference there was that they hated Lindros, and they essentially saw him as having little value at that stage of his career.
In this situation, the Flyers still believe Gagne has hockey left in him, but it's just a matter of the salary cap and his soon-to-expire contract that leaves him out in the Philly cold. For that reason, the Flyers would prefer to keep him away from the division. That's not to say that a trade in the division is out of the question, but if other teams are interested, the Flyers would obviously rather go that route.
So, are there other teams interested? The general consensus among Flyers fans is that the market is waiting for the Ilya Kovalchuk shoe to drop. After all, both players play the same position. The Kings could be interested if things don't work out with Kovalchuk.
Some other teams are poking around, however. Our Panthers blog, Litter Box Cats, has a post up about the situation, as does our general blog, From The Rink. As of now, nothing is imminent on the Gagne front, but we'll obviously keep you up-to-date on the situation in this StoryStream.