BOSTON, MA - MAY 23: Simon Gagne #12 and Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate Gagne's first period goal with teammates in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 23, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Yes, he was been hurt the past two seasons and has never played 82 games in an NHL season, but that's right on par with the Avs mandated status quo, and at least it wouldn't sting as bad when he sits out with injuries because we would expect it!
So why do I even bring up Gagne as an option? Well, besides simply avoiding doing my awesome desk job, I believe Gagne still has a lot to offer.
Gagne is only 31, and with two sub-par seasons behind him, he should be a bargain signing for the frugal-minded Avalanche. At first glance, his 40 points in 63 games last year don't jump off the page, but when you break it down it isn't so bad: He played mostly on the third line, had an extremely slow start to the season (7 P in 25 gms), but scored 18 points (7 G 11 A) in his last 13 regular season games and 12 points in 15 playoff games. 5 of the points came in the 7 games after he returned from a head injury courtesy of Scott Hannan. Gagne scored in his first game back in action. So it would appear that he is back on track, and at the perfect time for a cost-efficient signing.
Gagne plays left wing, a position the Avs need a legit top six forward to fill. Besides goalie, the biggest hole on the roster is LW. Adding a veteran goal-scoring LW to be set up by either Stastny or Duchene would compliment our young centers tremendously. Throw Hejduk on the other side and whoever that pivot-man is could be looking at a 50 assist season. When healthy, Gagne is an elite goal scorer. No question.
They're other decent Left Wings out there: Brunette (37 years-old), Leino (Philly won't let him go), Jussi Jokinen (Wolski 2.0), but I'd take a healthy goal-scoring Gagne over any of those guys considering the current AVS roster (although Brunette...). But I guess that's the question: can Gagne stay healthy enough?
So I've pleaded my case. Who do you want your Avs to sign on Friday?
Other notable feats from Simon's resume:
Gold Medal from the 2002 Olympics, to go along with extensive international play.
He's from Quebec, and we know how the Lacroix's like the motherland.
2 time all-star.
Two-time 40 goal scorer.
Game 7 winner VS Boston in historic 2010 comeback.
Any friend of Forsberg's is a friend of MHH.