Concussion specialist advises Gagne to sit out remainder of season
PHILADELPHIA -- Simon Gagne might not play again this season because of lingering symptoms from the three concussions he sustained this season.
The injured Philadelphia Flyers forward was told Wednesday to sit out the rest of the year when he went to visit concussion specialist James Kelly in Denver.
"His advice to Simon was to shut it down for the remainder of the season," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "As soon as we have had the opportunity to speak further with Dr. Kelly and Simon we can shed more light on this. Needless to say, we are very disappointed with this news."
Gagne suffered his first concussion on Oct. 24, sat out four games, then had another concussion on Nov. 7 and missed the next 26 games. He was injured again on his first shift in a Feb. 10 loss at Pittsburgh and hasn't played again.
Gagne has seven goals and 18 points in 25 games. Gagne had said his symptoms were worse after the last two concussions and hoped to play again this season.
Now the 27-year-old Gagne, who hadn't played in fewer than 72 games each of the last three seasons, has to worry he doesn't follow the path of former Flyers Eric Lindros and Keith Primeau. Both had promising careers derailed in Philly because of too many brutal blows to the head.
The Flyers have lost eight straight games, including a 3-2 shootout loss at Ottawa on Tuesday, and plummeted from the top of the Atlantic Division to the eighth seed in the East.
They've been hit hard with injuries other than Gagne's: Joffrey Lupul, who has 18 goals, could miss up to three weeks with a high ankle sprain. Defenseman Derian Hatcher (knee) might be out for three weeks, and forwards Stevie Downie and Denis Tolpeko are out with concussions.
Former team captain Peter Forsberg said this week it was unlikely he would return to the NHL, though the former MVP hadn't entirely ruled out a comeback.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press