Gagne ends long tenure in Philadelphia with trade to Lightning

Sean Leahy

Maybe the Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) signing really was the domino that needed to fall before the rest of the offseason movements began.

Following up Kovalchuk's re-signing in New Jersey, the long-rumored breakup between Simon Gagne(notes) and the Philadelphia Flyers has been confirmed via Frank Seravelli of the Philadelphia Daily News. Gagne, the Flyers' longest tenured player, was shipped to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and according to Damian Cristodero of the St. Pete Times, defenseman Matt Walker(notes) (signed for three more years at $1.7 million) and a 2011 fourth-round draft pick come back the other way.

Gagne enters the final year of his contract with a $5.25 million cap hit and with the Lightning having a ton of cap space to play with.

The Flyers now have just over $1 million in cap space at the moment and you'd have to believe that general manager Paul Holmgren still has a few more moves to make before the roster is setup for the 2010-11 season.

After the July 1 deal between the two teams, new Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman has traded away Andrej Meszaros(notes), Matt Walker and a fourth-round pick to the Flyers in exchange for Gagne and a second-round pick. Pretty impressive start for No. 19. It also gives new Lightning head coach Guy Boucher the chance to throw out a line featuring Gagne, Vincent Lecavalier(notes) and Martin St. Louis(notes). A French Connection revival, perhaps?