So last night I attended the Flyers/Avalanche game at the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers raised their 2009-2010 banner in honor of the Stanley Cup runner up team and winner of the Prince of Wales Trophy. Anyway the Flyers aired their video tribute to the team reminding us fans of some of the great moments of the season like
- Brian Boucher stopping Olli Jokinen in the great shootout of game 82.
- Dan Carcillo scoring in OT of game 3 against the Devils in the first round.
- Peter Laviollette's great time out speech down 3-0 in game 7 against the Boston.
- Mike Leighton's great saves against the Habs in the Conference Finals
- Mike Richards shorty against Halak
- Jeff Carter sealing the win in game 5 against the Habs with an empty netter.
What's missing? Every reference to Simon Gagne who was a key contributor to the playoff success of the team.
Why is that you ask? Well no one has said anything for sure, but from following Sarah Baicker and Frank Seravalli on Twitter has shown both sides of the story.
My opinion is not an easy one to follow, as a fan of both the Flyers and the game of hockey, I totally wanted to see Simon's important moments up there with the rest of the team. History cannot be rewritten, Gagne was one of the most important parts of the Flyers for the last decade.
As a fan of pro-wrestling, mainly the WWE, I am in no way shocked by this. Vince McMahon has removed countless WWE Superstars from videos that the WWE uses on television all the time. He's pretty much ordered Chris Benoit be removed from WWE history in every way after the 2007 Benoit double murder suicide incident. He's removed multi-time World Champion Jeff Hardy from the videos that air as every show starts because Jeff Hardy now works for rival promotion TNA.
Now there are some big differences between Gagne and the WWE. For one, both the Lightning and Flyers are part of the NHL, so using Simon Gagne should NOT be a legal problem, whereas in wrestling, if one company uses footage from another company's show, they would need to pay for it. Also, the Flyers know that Gagne had a huge following here in Philadelphia, most fans loved Simon Gagne. Had Simon gone up on the video, there's a good chance he would have gotten cheered before the Philadelphia boo-birds rained down boos on the Flyers front office personnel, (noticeably absent during all this was Flyers GM Paul Holmgren).
The Flyers were left in a lose-lose situation regarding Gagne in last nights video. Either put him up and let an energetic, demanding fan base possibly ruin what could have been an important moment regarding the success of a team because of one player, or, do what they did, and leave Gagne out, knowing full well that he was an integral part of the team's success.
If all goes well, put up a tribute to Simon on Thursday, the Bolts are in town and he's gonna get one hell of an ovation.