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With Flyers struggling, Gagner waits for his opportunity

Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils

NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 02: Sam Gagner #89 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 2, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Flyers 3-2 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The Flyers decided not to buy out the final season of Sam Gagner’s contract, but thus far all he’s done is watch as Philadelphia lost its first two contests.

“I want to be a part of things, I definitely feel like I can help,” Gagner told CSN Philly. “It’s frustrating. I want to be out there helping my team. To not get the opportunity to play, it’s not fun.”

This is the first time in his career that he’s been made a healthy scratch in back-to-back games. Even after Philadelphia’s 7-1 defeat against Florida on Saturday though, Flyers coach Dave Hakstol might not insert him into the lineup.

It’s certainly a possibility as Gagner skated alongside Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn during Sunday’s practice, but it’s hard to read too much into that because R.J. Umberger took a maintenance day. For his part, Gagner hasn’t heard anything about the lineup for Monday’s rematch against the Panthers and Hakstol said on Sunday that he hadn’t made that decision yet.

Gagner is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and is playing for his third team in as many seasons, not including the Tampa Bay Lightning, which acquired him from Edmonton and promptly dealt him to Arizona in 2014.

After everything he’s been through over the last few years, the 26-year-old forward entered the campaign with plenty to prove and his stint in the press box has served to make his eventual Flyers debut all the more important.