NHL trade rumors: Sam Gagner on the cheap?
It was easy to dismiss at first, but a trade rumor that would put Sam Gagner on the Los Angeles for, principally, Kyle Clifford is indeed real.
To be clear, I can’t assure you Clifford + a pick or prospect for Gagner + EDM retaining $ is guaranteed to happen but it’s being discussed.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 6, 2014
Now, there are obvious variables in play here, as McKenzie said. Gagner counts $4.8 against the salary cap for this season and the two following it, and if the Oilers retain a portion of that, they’d have to do it in all three. Doing that, you’d think, would mean a larger return for the Oilers — and certainly larger than Clifford, who’s an effective-enough bottom-six player.
Gagner, inconsistant as he may be, is more than that — and his contract isn’t all that bad, particularly as the cap rises. He certainly should be enough to get Edmonton a quality asset capable of helping them where they need it, especially if they retain salary. If the Oilers trade him, they’d have a hole at second-line center with no easy option to fill it. That’d be OK if they were plugging a hole elsewhere, but if it’s Clifford coming back, they wouldn’t be.