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Simon Gagne 'pleased' to be in Tampa

BRANDON, Fla. -- In these first hours and days of NHL training camp, the minor may seem like the major. Like Simon Gagne scoring his first goal with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

His tally in Sunday's scrimmage will show up on no meaningful scoring sheet, but the fact he did score and spend some time playing with Vincent Lecavalier was something of note.

"We played with each other a long, long time ago for Team Canada, but we never had a chance to play a full season," Gagne said. "So we want to work on a couple of things early on to see what we can do, so even the scrimmages are important."

Gagne's presence in Tampa is a bit of a wild card.

The talented Ste. Foy, Quebec, native played a decade with the Philadelphia Flyers, the team that drafted him back in 1998. He was dealt to the Lightning this past summer for defenseman Matt Walker and a fourth-round draft pick. Adjusting to something so new after something so familiar is an interesting sidebar to other more pivotal training camp stories. Still, Gagne's health and comfort in Tampa will be a significant factor in the team's return to respectability.

So far, the transition has been less jarring than perhaps had been anticipated.

"Because you play for the same team for a long period of time, you just get used to it," he said. "It's almost like a routine and déjà vu all the time. But this time, it's a good feeling.

"My expectation was high, but with the way things are run right now, I'm very, very, very pleased and surprised now," Gagne added. "It's even better than I thought. It's fun. It's fun to see what's going on now with another team. It's the only thing I had in my life -- maybe not in my life, but since I've played in the league -- is knowing what's going on inside of the Flyers.

"I like the atmosphere right now."