Lightning trade for oft-injured Gagne
Defenceman Walker, draft pick headed to Flyers for 2010 Cup standout
Rookie NHL general manager Steve Yzerman continues to reshape the Tampa Bay Lightning, adding left-winger Simon Gagne on Monday.
The Lightning would acquire the oft-injured forward from the Philadelphia Flyers for defenceman Matt Walker and a fourth-round draft pick in 2011.
"We acquire a very talented player that will play along side our top forwards," said Yzerman in a statement. "With his combination of speed and skill we are excited to have him with us and grateful he was willing to waive his no movement clause.
"This trade not only makes us a better team in the short-term, it helps create long-term flexibility for us, which all along has been one of our top priorities."
Gagne, 30, missed 24 regular-season games with a sports hernia in 2009-10 but managed 17 goals. He returned from a foot injury in the Stanley Cup playoffs to score nine times in 19 contests to go with three assists as the Flyers fell to Chicago in the final series.
"I'm very excited right now," Gagne said. "I'm looking at this opportunity as a new challenge and a new start. Tampa Bay was a team I was more than willing to waive my no-move clause for. I really like the direction the team is headed in with a solid owner, Steve Yzerman as GM and [head] coach [Guy] Boucher."
Gagne, who hails from Ste. Foy, Que., will join a top-six forward group of Lightning that includes Steve Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Malone and Steve Downie.
Stamkos, Lecavalier, St. Louis and Gagne all have reached the 40-goal mark during their careers.
A four-time 30-goal scorer, Gagne made $5.25 million last season, his 11th in the NHL, all spent with Philadelphia.
He also has excelled in international play, having won a gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics and silver at the 1999 world junior hockey championship.
Walker, 30, recorded five points and 90 penalty minutes in 66 games last season.
"This was a move to solidify our defence," said Paul Holmgren in a statement. "Matt Walker is a right shot defenceman that we like. He brings size, grit and toughness to our back end."
The Beaverlodge, Alta., native has collected 30 points and 444 penalty minutes in his three NHL stops — St. Louis, Chicago and Philadelphia.
"My initial reaction was pure excitement," Walker said. "To find out that I was coming to Philly, I don't know if I would say it was a lifelong dream, but I've always wanted to play in Philly and I thought I would be a good fit there."
The deal was Yzerman's second this month with the Flyers, acquiring a 2012 second-round selection for defenceman Andrej Meszaros in the earlier transaction.
He re-signed St. Louis to a four-year contract extension and also has signed a pair of free agents, defenceman Pavel Kubina and goalie Dan Ellis.