If NHL stops work, Gagne goes to Quebec

Updated: August 2, 2004, 1:32 PM ET
SportsTicker

PHILADELPHIA -- Simon Gagne, the first overall pick in the World Hockey Association draft last month, accepted a one-year qualifying offer from the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

If the NHL experiences an expected work stoppage, Gagne can play in his own backyard. A native of Ste. Foy, Quebec, Gagne was selected first overall by the Quebec Nordiks in the WHA draft on July 23.

With the NHL's current collective bargaining agreement set to expire September 15 and the start of the 2004-05 season almost certain to be delayed, the WHA could be the only hockey game in town this winter.

But if a settlement is reached, then Gagne will return to the Flyers. He was second on the team with 24 goals last season and also had 21 assists. Gagne added five goals and four assists in 18 playoff games as Philadelphia advanced to the Eastern Conference finals.

The 6-foot-0, 195-pound left wing has recorded 113 goals and 132 assists in 354 games with the Flyers over the last five seasons.

The Flyers also announced that right wing Branko Radivojevic has accepted a one-year qualifying offer.

Radivojevic, 23, had just one goal and eight assists in 24 games with the Flyers after being acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes last February. He recorded nine goals and 14 assists in 53 games with Phoenix.