Monday Update: Gagne to Return, Vokoun Signs with Pens
(6/4/12) In a surprise twist, Simon Gagne may in fact return for the Kings and suit up for Game 3 on Monday. He's been out since sustaining a concussion in late December, but he was recently cleared for contact and there are numerous reports indicating that he'll be active tonight. If your playoff pool allows free agent pick-ups, go ahead and grab him if he's still there.
We don't expect a whole lot from Gagne, especially since he'll likely be rusty and his conditioning will be suspect, but you never know. The other side of the coin says he might be fresh while most players are worn down from the battle. And it's not like there are a whole lot of options emerging for fantasy owners at this point... he's worth the risk.
We have to wonder though, could this disrupt the incredible chemistry the Kings seem to have right now? Even though Gagne is surely one of the best 18 skaters at L.A.'s disposal, could it possibly be in their best interests to simply keep going with the formula that's worked? The argument certainly works both ways, Gagne should help to generate some scoring chances, but regardless of how his presence affects the team, expect to see him out there tonight for better or worse.
Looking elsewhere around the league, the Penguins have signed Tomas Vokoun to a 2-year, $4 million contract, after acquiring him from Washington in exchange for a 7th round pick in the upcoming draft. Vokoun gives Pittsburgh a reliable veteran backup who can allow starter Marc-Andre Fleury more rest and a lighter load. It's a bit of a double-edged sword for fantasy owners, as it likely means fewer starts for Fleury next year, but hopefully it allows him to maintain a higher level of play through the end of the season.