From Mike @ FTR:
(Flyers left wing Simon Gagne) is a bona fide first-line player capable of scoring 40 goals who's also a good locker room guy and capable of playing both ends of the ice. He's got a reasonable cap hit ($5.2 million) and only has one year left on his deal, so there's no long-term commitment.
The draw back? Yeah, that whole injury thing. The problem with Simon Gagne isn't so much that his injuries prevent him from being a top-line player; it's that he's got those dreaded injuries that can reoccur at almost any moment, and once they happen, it's a long road back.
It's a terrific article, and illustrates well the problems inherent when dabbling in the top-line talent with an injury asterisk pool. Let's say the big guy's been given every assurance by the medical community that he's fit for action (shuffling his groin history to the dustbin if only for a moment):
Hypothetically, if the Panthers have an interest in Gagne one must determine first and foremost where to play him: his cap hit demands first-line action, bumping a presumably healthy David Booth to the second.
After that it gets financially terrifying among port wings: Rostislav Olesz, Cory Stillman, and Christopher Higgins - all under contract - to battle for two spots. Two spots which - in a perfect world - would host Stiller on the third and perhaps oft-injured but hard-working Kenndal McArdle on the fourth trio. And no, I don't pretend to know what to do with Rusty.
Of course, there's then the issue of whom to center Booth on the second line: Steven Reinprecht? Shawn Matthias? The talent pool drops precipitously thereafter.
So reasonably speaking, unless someone is dealt, Gagne's not coming to Sunrise. Admittedly though, it would be fascinating to watch him work alongside Stephen Weiss and Michael Frolik.