At first it seemed like the Tampa Bay Lightning traded Ted Purcell for Sam Gagner to possibly buy the Edmonton forward out. The more sensible thing (considering Ted Purcell’s comparable contract), was to move Gagner via another trade — and that’s exactly what happened, as the Bolts sent him to the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.
Here are the particulars of the deal, via Fox Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan:
Update: Per ESPN, Tampa Bay will retain one-third of Gagner’s salary ($1.6 million) in the deal.
With the move, the Lightning have cleared considerable cap space to work with when free agent frenzy opens on July 1, or in a trade. It seems likely the Bolts will target a blueliner — the defense needs help and it only has one right-handed shot under contract for next season in Radko Gudas. Tampa Bay was rumored to be interested in going after veteran righty Dan Boyle, but could also now get involved in the Matt Niskanen sweepstakes.
For Arizona, the club gets a potential top-line center in Gagner to replace the outgoing Mike Ribeiro, who on Friday was bought out of the remaining three years of his contract.
Now that we’ve settled the broader particulars, let’s delight in some of the jokes from this odd scene:
Feel bad for that Tampa fan that bought a Gagner jersey.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger