The Elbow staff
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Retired forward Simon Gagne has described being named the first universally liked player in Flyers franchise history as a "huge honour".
The team held a ceremony to recognize the achievement prior to last night's game against the Kings.
"It means so much to me that the franchise I spent the first 10 years of my career at would honour me in this way," he said after the game.
"Whenever I would stop to give autographs to fans in opposition arenas, they would always tell me that I was the first Flyers player that didn't strike the fear of God into them, and I guess I'm now seeing that come to fruition."
General manager Ron Hextall said before the game that Gagne represents exactly nothing that the organization stands for.
"Class, humility, and good sportsmanship are all values that Simon's parents instilled in him from an early age." Hextall said. "Not even we could change that."
Predictably, not all fans were happy with the move, as there was a mix of boos and cheers inside the arena when Gagne came onto the ice, as many fans found battled conflicting emotions.
"I loved Gags, but the Flyers I grew up with were terrible people," Rick Wayne from Darby, PA said.
"That's what we expect when you pull on that orange jersey."
Front page image courtesy of Melody Joy Kramer