Gagner for Franson?

Edmonton Oilers’ centre Sam Gagner, who keeps finding himself in trade rumours–Toronto for defenceman Cody Franson is the latest or Chicago where he could be reunited with London Knights junior linemate Patrick Kane– didn’t skate Wednesday, nursing a sore back.

“I don’t think it’s anything serious,” said Oilers’ head coach Tom Renney, who felt the centre would be ready for the Ottawa Senators Thursday night as the Oilers look to break a three-game losing streak.

Gagner is still trying to find his way after missing most of training camp with a high-ankle sprain. He has 175 NHL points in 302 games but this year he only has two assists in 11 games . He had one of his better outings Sunday in Chicago. He was on a line with Ben Eager and Lennart Petrell Tuesday at practice at Millennium Place, more or less a checking line but he’s been getting second unit powerplay time, too. If he can’t play, Magnus Paajarvi will draw in. Darcy Hordichuk (hyper-extended knee) is close but is a better bet to play Saturday against the Blackhawks.