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Kings’ Gagne cleared for contact, skating with prospects

San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 28: Simon Gagne #12 of the Los Angeles Kings fends off Justin Braun #61 of the San Jose Sharks around the net at Staples Center on November 28, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Interesting development out of Los Angeles this morning -- Kings GM Dean Lombardi confirmed a La Presse report that forward Simon Gagne has been cleared for contact.

More, from Rich Hammond at LA Kings Insider:

Lombardi confirmed this morning that Gagne, who has been out since he suffered a concussion on Dec. 26, has been cleared for contact, but Lombardi said Gagne will remain in Los Angeles and is a “long way from playing — needs to get hit.”

While Hammond says Gagne’s return “remains a long shot”, it’s still an interesting development.

The 32-year-old LW signed a two-year, $7 million deal with Los Angeles last summer with the expectation of being a top-six forward (he also contributed to the “Flyers West” theme that started with Mike Richards and assistant coach John Stevens, later continued with Lombardi’s trade deadline acquisition of Jeff Carter.)

In 34 games this year, Gagne had 7G-10A-17PTS. He’s currently skating with the Kings’ prospects/Black Aces and does not have a timetable for return to full practice.