On Thursday night, Simon Gagne will make his return to Philadelphia for the first time since being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning over the summer.
There will likely be some sort of recognition of his 10 years of service to the organization, whether that's with a pre-game video tribute or some sort of mini pre-game ceremony, or whether it's with a quick in-game video during a TV timeout.
That's all wonderful. We should expect it, Simon should expect. He'll get a standing ovation from the faithful. It will be a nice moment.
But on Monday night, things were a little different. Gagne, of course, scored some of the biggest goals of the 2010 postseason for the Flyers, especially in the semifinal series against Boston. He scored the OT game winner in Game 4 to keep the season alive, as well as the dramatic final blow in Game 7 to win the game and cap the most unbelievable comeback in team history -- perhaps sports history.
Yet in the pre-game video that was shown on the video board at the Wells Fargo Center, Gagne was nowhere to be found. If you didn't know he were a Flyer last year, you wouldn't know by watching the video last night. None of those big goals were included, as you can see after the jump.
What's the motivation for blatantly, obviously omitting Gagne's accomplishments?
I'm a guy who can get over the fact that Gagne was traded. Sure, I'm still a little perturbed about it. I think that if the right moves were made in the first place, the salary cap issues that facilitated Gagne's trade wouldn't have arisen. But I can understand that it was a business decision and that it was nothing personal.
Ignoring him in this fashion makes this feel very personal. It doesn't seem like business anymore.
For a video entitled "A Banner Is Earned" to exclude a man who played such a large role in earning that banner is just a slap in the face. There's no way to spin that otherwise. Sure, he wouldn't have been in the building to see it anyway, but the Flyers have always been known as team that treats their own very well. This was disheartening.