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Another Gagné Arrives in Los Angeles

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Simon Gagne doffs his new Kings sweater in a meeting with reporters on July 14 at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, Calif. (LAKings.com)
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After inking a two-year, $7 million deal with the Los Angeles Kings on July 2, Simon Gagné becomes the second Gagné to make a home in Los Angeles. Of course the first Gagné merely won a Cy Young Award in 2003 and set the Major League record of 84 consecutive converted save chances for the Dodgers.

Even though Simon has played in Philadelphia for most of his career, Éric is not a foreign topic for him.

“It’s not going to be the first time I answer that question,” Simon said.

Simon and Éric actually met two years ago when Éric was playing for the Quebec Capitales in the independent Can-Am League.

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“He actually came to my hockey game I do for charity back home [in Quebec City],” Simon recounted. “We actually exchanged jerseys. It was fun. I was glad I had a chance to meet him.”

Since that meeting, Éric had an aborted comeback with the Dodgers in 2010 announcing his retirement after posting a 20.25 ERA in 2 2/3 innings during spring training. Simon, however, was more fortunate being with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2009-10 for their Stanley Cup run and this past season with the Tampa Bay Lightning as they were a Game 7 away from the Stanley Cup Finals.

“I’m here with the experience I have especially in the playoffs,” Simon said. “That’s something I can bring to a young talented team we have here.”

Helping ease the transition is the presence of his former line-mate Mike Richards, former teammate Justin Williams and former coaches Terry Murray and Jon Richards.

“Going back to the system that I had a lot of success offensively, I’m really looking forward to getting back to that. I’m really excited about that.

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“I want to get back to the player I was two years ago, scoring a lot of goals.”

Despite having to find a new place to live, which is what brought him and his wife Karine to Los Angeles for the next couple of days. Despite the increased travel involved in playing for a Western Conference team. This 31-year old veteran is excited about playing for this team.

“The way the team has been plyaing the last two years, I see a lot of comparison with the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins when they won the Cup,” Simon said. “A really young team that got better and better really quick.”

General Manager Dean Lombardi did not make any apologies for turning Los Angeles into West Philadelphia.

“Second highest winning percentage in the history of hockey,” Lombardi emphatically stated. But their last Stanley Cup was in the 1974-75 season.

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“Still got one. What do we got?”

Oil Spill. If you run into Lombardi for the next couple of days and are dying for some entertainment, ask him about Edmonton. At the request of Ryan Smyth, the Kings traded him back to the Oilers. The first trade attempt had the Kings getting back Gilbert Brulé and a fourth round draft pick. However because of injury concerns, the Kings instead got Colin Fraser and a seventh round pick in next year’s entry draft on June 26.

It turns out Fraser has a fracture and a cyst in his foot. Well let’s let Dean take over complete with lots of emphatic pounding of the table.

There’s a gray area in terms of whether the doctors think it needs surgery or if it’s going to take two weeks or four months. There is some gray in terms of the doctors’ opinions. There is no question that this player is not fit to play now and obviously was not fit to play when he said he’d be fit to play which was the Wednesday after the trade. This is called the red herring method. What you do is say the doctors disagree. But they don’t disagree on the fundamental premise that this guy is not fit to play. So they might disagree whether it’s going to take two weeks, four weeks or four months. But the deal was he’s fit to play…

You know what they call that in legal circles when you’ve got a bad argument? You throw out the red herring. Classic deflection, you want to get the jury off track, throw out an ancillary issue, turn it into the major issue and they forget about the real issue. You learn that in the first year of law school. Nice try.

After telling us that there’s nothing new on the Drew Doughty front, he returned to Edmonton.
It’s not so much void. It’s partly the procedure, to have this happen twice in one week. There is a point where you say that this is wrong. We want to stay in the spirit of the trade. Let’s try and work this out the way we understood it.