Fantasy Analysis: The Philadelphia Flyers have dealt Simon Gagne to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Matt Walker and a fourth-round draft pick.
The Flyers get: their 18th NHL defenseman. Well, not really. But they had to take some salary back. Walker now gives the Flyers the best seven defensemen in the NHL: Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Andrej Meszaros, Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn, Shawn O'Donnell. Solid. The team sheds about $3.5 million in salary and clears a bit of the log-jam in their top nine.
The Lightning get: a talented forward who has lost some of his luster over the years due to injury, but is still probably one of the better second-line forwards in the league. The francophone Gagne, much like the francophone Alex Tanguay from a year ago, is expected to line up with the francophone Vincent Lecavalier. On paper, this should give both Frenchmen an incredible boost offensively, provided Gagne stays healthy and Lecavalier has fully (and finally) recovered from his wrist surgery of a year ago.
Fantasy Players Impacted: The two bubble players for a top six spot were Ville Leino and James van Riemsdyk. This plants Leino firmly in the top six and JVR will see some PP time now. Gagne's arrival in Tampa kills Teddy Purcell's hope at a plum spot on the Lecavalier line. Although, in the final two months of the season Ryan Malone saw a lot of time on the third line while Purcell played with Vinny. So you never know. But the deal certainly doesn't help Purcell any.
Players this deal helps, in order:
4. van Riemsdyk
5. Scott Hartnell
6. Matt Lashoff
Players this deal hurts, in order: