Oilers Ship Gagner to Lightning for Purcell, Then Dealt to Coyotes.

The Edmonton Oilers have traded center Sam Gagner to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for winger Teddy Purcell. 

Sam Gagner heads to Tampa Bay for Teddy Purcell.

Sam Gagner heads to Tampa Bay for Teddy Purcell, then gets flipped to the Arizona Coyotes.

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: After being dogged by years of trade speculation, Gagner has finally been traded, though to a team no one predicted he’d be dealt to. There was also a rumor following the deal that the Lighting would then put Gagner on waivers for the purpose of buying him out, though it has since been denied by the club. Not sure why the Bolts would bother doing that, as Gagner’s contract ($4.8 million cap hit) is almost similar to Purcell’s annual $4.5 million cap hit.

Some might question why the Lightning, who are already well-stocked at center (Steven Stamkos, Valtteri  Filppula, Calder nominee Tyler Johnson), but Gagner can also play on the wing. Perhaps the Bolts believe Gagner, who is only 24 and with five-straight 40-plus point seasons on his resume, still has room to grow, whereas Purcell at 28 may have already peaked.

As for the Oilers, this seems to be about shaking things up a bit, as Gagner didn’t appear to be blossoming as they hoped under their system. Perhaps adding a little veteran experience and size from outside the organization will provide that extra jam on the wing they were seeking on the second line, though they now have to find a good second-line center. 

**UPDATE** TSN reports the Lightning subsequently flipped Gagner along with BJ Crombeen to the Arizona Coyotes for a sixth-round 2015 draft pick. So this wound up being a straight salary dump for the Lightning, giving them 19 players under contract with over $9.5 million in cap space. They appear to be making room for perhaps a more significant addition.  As for the Coyotes, they appear for now to have filled the hole at center brought about by their buyout of Mike Ribeiro. Still, the opinion out of Edmonton where Gagner played his entire career to date is he’s better off as a winger than a center. We’ll find out how well he responds to playing for a new team and a new system.

8 Comments

  1. Would oilers be giving Leon the 2nd line already?

    • They all but said they were going to at the draft. Still doesn’t address their issue at defense.

  2. Ganger now shipping to Arizona.

  3. Bolts fans everywhere hoping Ganger is one piece of a return for Keith Yandle.

  4. Traded along with Crombeen for a pick of some sort, wonder why the Bolts are clearing space. Clear a bit over $5,000,000 in space, no real pressing UFA/RFA’s so eat a chunk of that. Means just under $10,000,000 in space. I wonder if the interview period has landed them a guy they want to sign and are making the space available for the move. Mark Fayne or Christian Ehroff might look good on their blueline!

    • So would Niskanen or Boyle. I think your right, something bigger is at play right now.

  5. Re: “Not sure why the Bolts would bother doing that, as Gagner’s contract ($4.8 million cap hit) is almost similar to Purcell’s annual $4.5 million cap hit.”

    Due to their age difference: Buying out Gagner would’ve hit TB with only 1/3 of his salary, whereas with Purcell it would’ve been 2/3 of salary

  6. This may have been due to off-ice Behavioral issues of Ryan Malone’s Buddies. With a Bunch of talented young players like Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, the last thing the Lightning needed were Players that may have been enjoying the Nightlife a little too much and being a bad influence in the locker room. Just ask Marty St. Louis.