From Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:
The Arizona Coyotes are seriously considering buying out the contract of Sam Gagner, which has the Toronto Maple Leafs interested.
The cash-strapped Coyotes are on the hunt for centremen, and have come to the conclusion that Gagner simply isn’t a fit. Arizona GM Don Maloney has been attempting to trade Gagner while at the NHL Draft, but chances are he would have to take someone else’s bad contract back. Maloney may settle for a buy-out at one-third of the money owed, as Gagner is still just 25 years old.
Gagner only has one more season remaining on his contract. Buying him out would save the budget-conscious Coyotes just over $2 million in salary, per Cap Friendly. Their cap hit would be around $500,000 in both 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Gagner had 15 goals and 26 assists last season, his first with Arizona after being traded by Edmonton to Tampa Bay, which quickly flipped him to the Coyotes.
It was hoped that a “change of scenery” would help the former sixth overall pick.
Related: The Coyotes need to spend some money
Early contender for quote of the day, courtesy Sabres GM Tim Murray:
This morning, Buffalo acquired Robin Lehner and David Legwand from Ottawa, in return for the 21st pick in today’s draft.
In February, Murray swung a blockbuster trade for Evander Kane. Part of that deal included the 25th pick in today’s draft going to Winnipeg.
And, of course, the Sabres are expected in a few hours to draft Jack Eichel with the second overall pick.
Related: Day after voicing disappointment with No. 2 pick, Murray praises Eichel
From ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
So, a two-year bridge deal for Toffoli, the 23-year-old who had 23 goals and 26 assists last season for the Kings. He also contributed seven goals and seven assists during the 2014 run to the Stanley Cup.
Toffoli will be a restricted free agent when this new contract expires. He’s just finishing up his entry-level deal.
Now that Toffoli’s locked up, expect GM Dean Lombardi to focus on getting backup goalie Martin Jones signed. A few weeks ago, Lombardi called it a “priority” to get those two under contract.
The Kings would also like to re-sign UFA d-man Andrej Sekera.