Simon Gagne likes what he sees so far, even the travel

Which one is Gagne?

Simon Gagne was one of several big-time additions to the Los Angeles Kings roster this summer, even if his arrival has been somewhat lost in the shuffle. Signing on July 2nd, he fell between the blockbuster trade for Mike Richards, the heavy pursuit of Brad Richards and last month’s arrival of Ethan Moreau.

Bringing him in at left wing could be seen as a solution to a collection of ongoing issues, including – one, replacing Alexander Frolov‘s points (51) from 2009-10 with Alexi Ponikarovsy‘s output this past season (15 points – yes, you read that right) didn’t work out…two, there isn’t a lot of depth in the Kings’ pipeline over on the left side…three, with left wing Ryan Smyth requesting a trade back to Edmonton this summer, the apparent hole became even worse.

Enter Gagne, who says the Kings tried to get him once before – right before he went to Tampa Bay. No worries though, perhaps his time there was just a training period to get him ready for the travel schedule he’ll now endure in the Western Conference.

“I’ll get used to it as the season goes on. Plus, if you look at the travel we had last year in Tampa Bay, there was a lot of it. I was talking with some people who work here with the Kings and it looks like the travel we did in Tampa was similar to what the Kings did last year,” said Gagne.

“So, it’s tough. It will take time, I know that – with the time change being the hardest thing to adjust to, I’m sure. But, at the same time, I’m here for two years. So, I have no choice. It’s about finding a way to take care of yourself – like, having good sleep, making sure you’re eating well and stuff like that.”

One place he’s never traveled to for a hockey game is Las Vegas – a place he says he didn’t even know the Kings were scheduled to play a pre-season game when he first agreed to terms with the club.

Again, no worries says Gagne – “I’m looking forward to it. It will be a great experience.”

One of the reasons he’s taking everything in stride is the fact that so many of the Kings players have welcomed him with open arms.

“I had a lot of text messages, from pretty much the whole team,” Gagne explained. “They didn’t have to do that. They could have waited to shake my hand today or at camp. But, I got a lot of good texts from the guys. So, it was really fun to see that.”

Another first for Gagne is the Kings training facility in El Segundo. Tomorrow, he’ll begin his first training camp in Los Angeles there. However, just a week ago, he visited the building for the first time.

“You always try to compare things like that with what you’ve experienced in other organizations,” Gagne said. “That might be the nicest practice facility I’ve been in. The one in Philadelphia was pretty similar to what we have here in LA and definitely better than what we had in Tampa Bay. We spend a lot of time there, so I think it’s great to be able to be there all day. We have everything there. I’m very excited about it. I had a chance to go there for the first time (Saturday) and work out a little bit. It will be pretty fun to get on the ice there soon.”

So, what else has he seen in Southern California?

“I’m a big fan of Entourage,” proclaimed Gagne. “I was actually watching the show on HBO and trying to figure out where the best places to be are. It’s great for my family too. We want a nice area for the kids and my wife too. It’s one thing to play for a good team and a great city, but it’s just as important to be comfortable outside of hockey. You spend a lot of time away from the rink too. So, it’s important to be comfortable. I’m excited to see what we really have here in LA.”

As are GM Dean Lombardi, head coach Terry Murray and the rest of the Kings staff.

They’ll get their first look of what they have – at least on the ice – beginning early tomorrow morning.

Training Camp, day one. It’s finally here.

Recent Articles

July 2017: Update on LA Kings Salary Cap Situation and Roster Projection

Fresh on the heels of forward Nick Shore and the Kings agreeing to new one year contract, with an average annual value (AAV) of $925,000, we have updated our look at the team’s current salary cap situation.
2017-18 LA Kings Projected Opening Night Roster (with important notes at the end of the article)
 

Cammalleri
Kopitar
Brown

1,000,000
10,000,000
5,875,000

 
 
 

Pearson
Carter
Toffoli

3,750,000
5,272,727
4,550,000

 
 
 

Kempe
Dowd
Brodzinski

894,167
650,000
950,000

 
 
 

Clifford
Shore
Lewis

1,600,000
925,000
2,000,000

 
 
 

Nolan
Andreoff
 

950,000
677,500
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

Muzzin
Doughty
 

4,000,000
7,000,000
 

 
 
 

Martinez
LaDue
 

4,000,000
1,500,000
 

 
 
 

Forbort
Gravel
 

650,000
950,000
 

 
 
 

Folin
 
 

850,000
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

Quick
Kuemper
 

5,800,000
650,000
 

 
The above 23-man roster […]

NHL Radio Replay: Hoven’s Kings Updates – Thornton, Brown, Phaneuf, Bernier, Iginla, etc.

Follow @mayorNHL
//
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on NHL Network Radio, where he joined host Nick Alberga of Ice Cap to discuss a plethora of topics surrounding the LA Kings roster heading into free agency, including: Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks, Dustin Brown-for-Dion Phaneuf trade speculation, goaltender Jonathan Bernier, forward Jarome […]

Yannetti Evaluates Kings Selections from 2017 NHL Draft

Although the Los Angeles Kings have gone through significant upheaval in their management ranks over the past few months, the 2017 NHL Draft was largely business as usual. While GM Rob Blake was present at the draft table, the event was largely run by Mark Yannetti, Director of Amateur Scouting – just as it has […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings: Top Two Players Revealed

The wait is over; it's time to reveal the top two players on our 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings. Which player has earned the coveted No. 1 spot? As we finish off this multi-part series, we'll begin with a thank you … [Read More...]

More Prospect News