We already knew that when general manager Paul Holmgren announced this week that the team had "closed the door" on a Gagne return. What we did not see coming was Gagne, who was a soft-spoken leader during his decade in Philadelphia, firing back comments at the Flyers' brass.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Gagne said it was "a slap in the face" when he heard the team had signed Daniel Cleary and that he was "disappointed" when he heard the news. Gagne states that he had been trying to work out a deal with the Flyers all summer and the organization made it seem like they were interested in bringing him back.
In fact, they did seem interested in July and even had kicked the tires on a Gagne return as recently as early-September. The 33 year-old winger was upfront with everybody at the beginning of the off-season stating his intention to re-sign in Philadelphia if the Flyers wanted him back.
The situation isn't pretty because Gagne was an intricate part of the Flyers for so many years. I don't blame Holmgren for not bringing him back as young players like Tye McGinn, Scott Laughton, and Michael Raffl are all going to get a shot to compete for the spot. That might be what is best for the franchise but, if what Gagne is saying is true, this situation has been badly mishandled.
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