Simon Gagne ‘really, really excited’ about what he sees in Kings
Undeterred by the approach of “Carmageddon” or by home prices in the South Bay, newly signed Kings left wing Simon Gagne was all smiles Thursday after his first look at his new surroundings.
“I’m really, really excited about what I’m seeing right now,” said Gagne, who agreed to a two-year, $7-million contract July 2. “We have a good team here, and that’s why I was excited to come here with the Kings.”
Gagne, 31, has twice exceeded 40 goals in a season, but injuries limited him to 17 goals in each of the last two seasons, with Tampa Bay and Philadelphia. He scored 34 goals in 2008-09 with the Flyers alongside center Mike Richards, who was acquired by the Kings on June 23, and Gagne thinks the two can duplicate that bond.
“I had a lot of success with Mike in Philly for many years. It’s always a plus to have the chemistry building right away,” said Gagne, who will wear No. 12, which he has worn since childhood. “We didn’t play together last year, but a year is not too bad. … I’m sure we’ll have a chance to show what we can do and we will try to take that chance. We have a lot of other players offensively that I’m sure we could find chemistry with too.”
Smyth trade update
The dispute between the Kings and Edmonton Oilers over the fitness of Colin Fraser, who was sent to Los Angeles in the Ryan Smyth trade last month, might be resolved Friday by David Zimmerman, general counsel for the NHL.
The Kings contend that the Oilers misrepresented the extent of Fraser’s injuries and that he is unfit to play, leaving them unable to waive him or buy him out. Bob Stauffer of the Oilers radio network reported that a source told him the findings of a doctor retained by the NHL Players Assn. were consistent with the Oilers’ findings.
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said Fraser’s status remains in a gray area.
“If he was ready in two weeks, it might affect how you resolve. If he’s ready in four months, that’s a different way to resolve,” Lombardi said. “If you want to give another two weeks to all of a sudden see if this bone starts healing on its own and David says do that, we’ll do it — but I don’t know if that’s going to change anything.”
Lombardi repeated that he doesn’t want to void the trade.
“I did have a team call me today [Thursday] and ask me if it’s not going through they’d take him, but that’s not the purpose here.”
Fraser’s agent, Jerry Johansen, declined to comment specifically on his client’s medical status.
“We’re comfortable with where Colin is at in terms of his progress in recovering from his foot injury,” Johansen said.
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