In return for Gagne, the Kings receive a conditional fourth-round pick that Philadelphia had acquired from Phoenix.
Gagne came to the Kings before last season but was unable to play for much of the season because of concussion and injury issues. He appeared in just 34 games during the regular season, scoring seven goals with 10 assists. He finally returned to the team during the Stanley Cup Finals and played the final few games of the series, earning his spot on the Cup after the Kings won.
He has struggled out of the gate this season as he has played in just 11 games with no goals and five assists. He has averaged 13:46 per game.
For Gagne, perhaps a return to Philadelphia can be enough to spark whatever he might still have left. The 32-year-old spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Flyers before going to Tampa Bay for one season and then the Kings. His best season came in 2005-06 when he scored 47 goals with 32 assists in 72 games. It was as recently as 2008-09 that he had 34 goals and 40 assists for the Flyers in 79 games.
The Flyers are not getting the impact player that Gagne was a few years back, and certainly they know it. They only had to give up a fourth-round pick to land him, so clearly they're aware.
But at the same time, it's a small price to pay, and it shouldn't hurt Flyers GM Paul Holmgren to take a shot. Things never quite took off for Gagne in LA, so perhaps a return to a familiar place and environment will help. It probably can't hurt.