It has been 10 years since Simon Gagne took the ice for the Flyers.
In the time since, he’s picked up a Stanley Cup with the L.A. Kings and joined the Flyers Alumni, suiting up in the orange and black during alumni celebrations. During Gagne’s playing career, he experienced two work stoppages because of lockouts, but nobody has ever experienced anything like the current league hiatus amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“It must be hard, I was trying to put myself, what could I do if I was a hockey player that was still playing," Gagne said from his home in Quebec City in a recent video interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Michael Barkann. "The closest I got to it was maybe the lockout in 2004 and 2012.
“The difference, we were able to skate, and now here in Quebec City, all the rinks are closed.
“Hopefully some of the hockey players have a gym at home, keep your cardio up. ... The toughest thing right now is not be able to hit the ice and feel the puck and skate on the ice.”
Gagne, like many former and current players, expressed concern over the aspect of game shape, something that can’t be achieved without the ability to skate. Gagne, for one, is looking forward to seeing what the league does next.
“Hopefully hockey will come back soon," Gagne said. "That’s gonna be special to see what the NHL decides to do, if they're going to give the players and teams some time to get back on the ice and have a small training camp.”
There have been several scenarios discussed recently, including each division finishing at an NHL rink in four different cities, and the league is reportedly mulling over starting up again in July, while holding the draft before play resumes. Gagne believes the players will be agreeable regardless of the scenario when and if play resumes.
“I think guys are willing to do whatever it takes to hopefully finish the season, or finishing eight to 10 games, whatever is possible," he said. "I think guys want to get back and play the playoffs, and having a team win the Stanley Cup in the end. I was talking to a bunch of guys here in Quebec City that are staying with their family here, and that’s what they’re hoping.”
For now, Gagne, like the rest of us, is waiting to see what happens next.
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