By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
In this new weekly feature, I’m going to trace the lineage of different fan favorite Flyers and review all the trades and signings that led to them landing in Philadelphia.
Simon Gagne, one of the greatest Flyers of all time. He was beloved by the fans and was an unstoppable force on the ice for over a decade. Sitting ninth all-time in goals for the Flyers with 264, to say he was a key player is an understatement. However, his arrival in Philly was more than just a draft pick, there was an almost 20 year journey that brought the Flyers the pick that they used to select Simon Gagne.
The trade that landed the pick they used to draft Gagne took place August 20, 1997 when the Flyers traded Mikael Renberg and Karl Dykhuis to Tampa Bay in exchange for their 1998 (Gagne), 1999 (Maxime Ouellet), 2000 (Justin Williams), and 2001 (Tim Gleason) first round picks.
So let’s break down the two individuals that were involved in that trade and see how they became Flyers.
The road to Simon Gagne started in 1978 when the Flyers drafted Behn Wilson 6th overall in 1978. Wilson would then be traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in June of 1983 in exchange for Doug Crossman and a 1984 2nd round pick (Scott Mellanby).
Crossman was later dealt to LA in return for Jay Wells on September 29, 1988. A little less than two years later in March of 1990, Jay Wells and a 1991 4th round pick (Peter Ambrosiak) were traded to Buffalo for Kevin Maguire and a 1990 2nd round pick. That 1990 2nd round pick was used to draft Mikael Renberg.
Karl Dykhuis’ journey to the Flyers began when Bob Wilkie was drafted by the Red Wings 41st overall in 1987. Wilkie was traded to the Flyers for future considerations on February 2, 1993. In 1995, the Flyers traded Bob Wilkie and a 1997 5th round pick (Kyle Calder) to Chicago for Karl Dykhuis.
The first trade–
On August 20, 1997, the Flyers traded Renberg and Dykhuis to the Lightning in exchange for four first round picks (1998,1999,2000,2001). The 1998 first round pick was Simon Gagne, taken 22nd overall.
Simon Gagne would play for the Flyers from 1999 until July 19, 2010, when Paul Holmgren put the Flyers over the salary cap after he acquired Nikolay Zherdev and Andrej Meszaros. That meant he had to trade a high-priced veteran.
And on July 19,2010, just two months after his historic game winning goal in game seven of the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Bruins, Gagne was traded to Tampa in exchange for Matt Walker and a 2011 4th round pick (Marcel Noebels). Gagne would play one season in Tampa before becoming a free agent and signing with LA on July 2, 2012.
The Second Trade–
After an injury-riddled year-and-a-half in LA where he only played in 45 games, Gagne was traded back to the Flyers in February of 2013 in exchange for a conditional 4th round pick (Justin Auger). His return was spurred on by an incomprehensible amount of injuries that struck the team. Gagne’s return to Philly only lasted 27 games, but it was fun for the fans to watch their long-time favorite retake the ice in Philly before he retired a few years later after a brief stint with the Bruins.
photo credit: espn.com