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.


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.