Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning lose Simon Gagne and Pavel Kubina to head injuries in Game 1 of East semifinal with Washington Capitals.

WASHINGTON — When Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier saw teammate and good friend Simon Gagne lying motionless on the ice in Friday's first period against the Capitals, it was a difficult moment.

"It was very scary," he said.

Gagne, who has a history of concussions, had his head hit the ice and appeared to briefly lose consciousness after a check into the boards by Capitals defenseman Scott Hannan just over seven minutes into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal.

Gagne was helped off the ice and didn't return to the game. He will be re-evaluated today, as will defenseman Pavel Kubina, who was knocked out of the game with two minutes left in the second when his head hit the glass on a check by Jason Chimera, who was called for roughing.

The Lightning believe Gagne's injury could have been much worse.

"(Gagne) said he was all right as he left the ice," center Steven Stamkos said. "So we just said, 'Let's do this one for Gags.' For him to go down, it's tough, but other guys stepped up."

Gagne was racing to a puck in the corner of the Washington zone, with Hannan giving chase, and the Capitals defenseman checked him cleanly into the boards. But Gagne flipped into a prone position in the air, and Hannan shoved him to the ice. Gagne hit the ice on his left shoulder, then his head bounced off it.

Gagne stayed down for several minutes, talking but not moving, as head athletic trainer Tommy Mulligan attended to him and a stretcher was brought out. But Gagne was able to stand up with help and skated off the ice with Mulligan and assistant athletic trainer Mike Poirier holding him under each arm.

Hannan approached Gagne before he was taken away and tapped Gagne's pads with his stick.

"The puck went into the corner, and we both went in," Hannan said. "I hit him. I didn't even think it was that bad. I guess he fell on his shoulder and his head. You never want to see a guy hurt like that."

Gagne was evaluated by team doctors Ira Guttentag, Stan Watkins and Chuck Slonim. The league's new concussion protocol, in which players who take head shots are put in a dark room for 15 minutes for observation, apparently was followed for Gagne and Kubina.

Gagne called his wife after leaving the game, Canada's TSN TV network said.

The left wing missed most of the 2007-08 season with the Flyers because of two concussions, and he had at least one other concussion earlier in his career.

Gagne missed 18 games because of a nerve injury this season. The Lightning believed a scar-tissue mass in the muscles in the back of his neck at least contributed to it. Gagne has received intermittent treatments for the scar tissue.

Joe Smith can be reached at

Tampa Bay Lightning lose Simon Gagne and Pavel Kubina to head injuries in Game 1 of East semifinal with Washington Capitals. 04/29/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 30, 2011 12:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Former Gator Caleb Brantley paying a steep price for nothing


    It turns out Caleb Brantley isn't quite the dirtbag that millions of people presumed. It's too bad the damage to his reputation and bank account is already done.

    Caleb Brantley, who dropped to the sixth round of the draft, works out during Browns rookie minicamp. [Associated Press]
  2. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    OF/DH Corey Dickerson missed out on a good birthday gift when AL player of the week honors went instead to Detroit's J.D. Martinez. Dickerson hit .385 with five homers, nine RBIs and nine runs; Martinez went .389-4-9-7 and got the nod.

  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb learning to work with what he has



    If this were 2012 or 2013, even 2014, RHP Alex Cobb would have problems. He would find himself working with only two of his three pitches, with the missing pitch being his trusty changeup.

    Alex Cobb, working mainly with his fastball and curveball, is 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA over his past five starts. The Rays right-hander tries to continue his strong stretch tonight against the Angels.
  5. Rays vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Angels

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)