On Monday, we passed along a report of Los Angeles having interest in Oilers forward Sam Gagner.
Four days later, it appears both sides are working towards making a deal.
Reports from TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun claim the Oilers and Kings are currently discussing a trade, one that would send Gagner to Hollywood and (hopefully, for the Kings’ sake) address L.A.’s goalscoring woes.
One of the names in play as to who might be involved on the Kings’ end — according to McKenzie — is left winger Kyle Clifford.
What’s notable in this potential deal is that neither player is a pending free agent. Gagner, 24, is in the first year of a three-year deal he signed last summer with an annual salary of $4.8 million.
Clifford, 23, has one year remaining on a two-year deal worth $1.075 million per season. He is a restricted free agent at the end of next season. Due to the Kings’ salary cap constraints, speculation is that the Oilers may be forced to retain some salary.
Gagner would be a good offensive upgrade for the Kings. He missed extensive time at the start of the season with a broken jaw and has just 23 points through 45 games, but did finish second on the Oilers in scoring during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, with 38 points in 48 games.
As mentioned, the Kings need to improve offensively. They’ve scored just six times in their last seven games — three coming in Monday’s 5-3 loss to Chicago — and sit 29th in the NHL in goals per game. (Only Buffalo scores less.) Getting Gagner would be a boon as he can play wing (right wing, specifically) and could inject some offense, much like Jeff Cater did upon being acquired from Columbus at the ’12 trade deadline.
The Oilers and Kings do have a history of deadline dealing. L.A. acquired Dustin Penner from Edmonton at the ’11 deadline. They also combined on a trade earlier this season, as L.A. sent goalie Ben Scrivens to Edmonton for a third-round draft pick.