Simon Gagne retires after 14 seasons

Simon Gagne suited up in 23 games with the Boston Bruins last season, scoring three goals. (Bruins.NHL.com)

Simon Gagne suited up in 23 games with the Boston Bruins last season, scoring three goals. (Bruins.NHL.com)

Longtime left winger Simon Gagne on Tuesday announced his retirement, after 14 NHL seasons.

Gagne last suited up for the Boston Bruins, scoring three goals and one assist over 23 games in 2014-15. He took a leave of absence from the team in December to be with his father, Pierre, and did not return following his death.

Gagne, 35, spent the bulk of his career with the Philadelphia Flyers, who drafted him 22nd overall in 1998. In 691 games on Broad Street, he scored 264 goals and 535 points, along with 32 goals and 47 points in 90 playoff games.

His best season came in 2005-06, where he scored 41 goals and 79 points playing alongside Peter Forsberg and Mike Knuble on the Flyers’ noted ‘Deuces Wild’ line. Gagne was also responsible for several notable playoff moments with the Flyers, including dramatic overtime goals in Game 6 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Final against Tampa Bay and Game 4 of the 2010 semifinal against the Bruins (which trimmed the Flyers’ deficit in that series to 3-1). After the Flyers came back to force a deciding Game 7, Gagne scored a powerplay goal at 12:52 of the third period to give the Orange and Black a 4-3 lead, which allowed them to become the first team since the 1975 New York Islanders (and third team overall) to win a playoff series after trailing 3-0.

Following the Flyers’ 2010 run, Gagne was dealt to Tampa Bay for defenseman Matt Walker and a fourth-round pick, in an effort by the Flyers to shed salary. He scored 17 goals and 40 points in 63 games with the Lightning, and added five goals and 12 points en route to the Bolts’ loss in the 2011 Eastern Conference Final.

From there, Gagne signed a two-year deal with Los Angeles, scoring seven goals and 17 points. With the Kings’ Stanley Cup win that year over New Jersey, Gagne won his first (and only) Cup, nearly dropping the storied trophy when it was his turn to skate with it.

Simon Gagne won his first and only Stanley Cup with the LA Kings in 2012. (Zimbio.com)

Simon Gagne won his first and only Stanley Cup with the LA Kings in 2012. (Zimbio.com)

Gagne started the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign with the Kings, before being dealt mid-season for a return to the Flyers. He scored five goals and 11 points in his return to the City of Brotherly Love but did not have the opportunity to restore his old playoff glory, as the Flyers sputtered to a 23-22-3 record, 49 points, fourth-place finish and their first missed playoff berth since 2007.

Gagne sat out for the 2013-14 campaign, and accepted a professional try-out offer with the Bruins. He made the team out of training camp, and the termination of his contract after his January leave of absence led to speculation about the end of his playing career.

The Sainte-Foy, Que. native also represented Canada on five different occasions, including the 1999 World Juniors, 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics, 2004 World Cup of Hockey and 2005 World Championships. He was part of gold medal-winning teams in 2002 and 2004, and won silver medals in 1999 and 2005.

Gagne also became the third former Flyer to retire this offseason, after Kimmo Timonen and Danny Briere.

Follow Rob Riches on Twitter @Riches61

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