Thursday, November 3, 2011

Paul Gagne

Paul Gagne was a high draft pick of the Colorado Rockies. Selected 19th overall in 1980, Gagne was never able to warrant such a high selection.

A tremendously popular player in New Jersey, Gagne was a capable left winger on some very weak Rockies/New Jersey Devils teams in the early and mid-1980s. However he was never able to demonstrate his offensive prowress he showed in his last year of junior when he scored 48 goals and 101 points in 65 OHA games. Gagne twice posted 20+ goal seasons at the NHL level, but was generally a 15 goal, 15 assist role player who was being asked to fulfill a role of 1st or 2nd line left wing. Blessed with good speed, Gagne was particularly hindered by his lack of size and strength.

On March 25, 1986, in a game against the Winnipeg Jets, Gagne suffered a serious back injury. The injury left Gagne out not only for the rest of the season, but for the next two entire seasons! Gagne attempted a comeback in 1988-89, signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. He had a really good season at the AHL level, posting 33 goals and 74 points in just 56 games. He was also called up to the Leafs for 16 games.

Gagne returned to the minors the next year but a mid season trade saw him end up in the NY Islanders organization. Gagne spent most of the remainder of the season in the Isle's famr team in Springfield of the AHL, but also saw 9 games on Long Island, chipping in one goal.

That goal would prove to be his last NHL goal. At the completion of the 1990 season Gagne left North American hockey and headed to Europe where he njoyed some good seasons in Germany and Switzerland. Gagne stopped playing competitive hockey in Europe in 1996.


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