The story was first broke by Eklund of Hockeybuzz, and now it's been confirmed that Simon Gagne has been traded to the Tampa Bay Lighting.
Frank Servalli of the Daily News reports that the Flyers have received 30 year old defenseman Matt Walker and a fourth round pick in return for Simon Gagne. In other words, this was a salary dump in every sense of the word...
Here's the scouting report on Matt Walker.
Has prototypical NHL size and likes to use it to his advantage. Usually limits mistakes in his own end. Can be quite physical from the back end and also drop the gloves when necessary.
Is extremely limited in the offensive zone, which makes him less appealing as a top-four blueliner at the NHL level. Also has skating issues.
Exciting huh? And this for a team that's already added a ton of salary at defense this offseason in Andrej Meszaros, Braydon Coburn, & Sean O'Donnell.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren spoke about the trade.
“This was a move to solidify our defense,” said Holmgren. “Matt Walker is a right shot defenseman that we like. He brings size, grit and toughness to our backend. Simon Gagne played 10 seasons for the Flyers and was not only a good player for us, but also handled himself in a first class manner on and off the ice.”
Despite that, it remains to be seen whether the Flyers actually plan on having Matt Walker play with the big club. As Anthony SanFilipo reports, the team would have $2.7 million under the cap if they waived Walker to the minors.