Sam Gagner is a Philadelphia Flyer — for now, anyway.
On Monday, the Flyers elected not to buy out Gagner prior to the window closing at 12 p.m. ET, meaning he’s a part of the club for the foreseeable future (barring a trade, of course).
More, from CSN Philly:
Gagner told CSNPhilly.com that the last few days have been very “stressful” since being traded here from Arizona while not knowing what his future held.
“I’m very excited and motivated,” Gagner said, adding he did not get much sleep.
Gagner, acquired at the draft from Arizona in a strange deal that saw Philly send Nicklas Grossmann and Chris Pronger’s contract to the Coyotes, was unsure if he’d ever wear Flyer orange.
His parting gift from Arizona was GM Don Maloney saying he ‘can’t play center at the NHL level,” and his arrival gift in Philadelphia was learning GM Ron Hextall was considering a buyout.
It was a tough turn of events for the former first-round pick. Gagner, who is still only 25 years old, carries a relatively large cap hit of $4.8 million (although some was retained in an earlier deal with Tampa Bay) but has proven to be productive in the past, and scored 41 points in 81 games for the Coyotes last season — tops among all Arizona forwards.
Arizona Coyotes GM Don Maloney was frank when discussing his reasoning behind dealing Sam Gagner to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
The Coyotes dealt Gagner and a conditional draft pick in 2016 and 2017 to the Flyers for defenseman Nicklas Grossmann and the contract of Chris Pronger.
“We didn’t think he could play center at the National Hockey League level for us,” Maloney said of Gagner.
Gagner was the Coyotes top scoring forward during the 2014-15 season with 15 goals to go along with 26 assists in 82 games. In the face off circle Gagner won 46.8 percent of draws he took.
Saturday’s trade was the third time in less than a year that Gagner has been dealt.
The 25-year-old was traded from the Oilers to the Lightning on June 29, 2014 and within hours was traded to the Coyotes.
Gagner has a $4.8 million cap hit and is owed $5 million for the 2015-16 season.
Related: So, what happens if Philly buys out Gagner?
The trade that sent Chris Pronger’s contract and Nicklas Grossmann to the Arizona Coyotes and Sam Gagner to the Philadelphia Flyers is simple enough in the goals for each side. The specifics, however, get a little confusing.
Beyond the believed $500K in salary being retained by the Flyers, things get a little tricky if Philly GM Ron Hextall buys out Gagner.
As you may remember, the Tampa Bay Lightning retained $1.6 million of Gagner’s salary when they traded him to Arizona. Because of that move, a possible Philly buyout wouldn’t merely potentially impact the Flyers; it would also have an affect on the Bolts.
General Fanager broke down some of the ins and outs on Twitter, arriving at a conclusion that Tampa Bay might not actually mind this:
There are a few other details to work out either way, like a) will the Flyers actually do it? and b) how does the NHL feel about this situation?
Well, for one thing, Flyers GM Ron Hextall told the media that he hasn’t “thought about” a buyout yet, as CSNPhilly.com reports.
“We’ll talk about all of our options [Sunday],” Hextall said. “We’ll make decisions moving forward. We got to get our numbers in order. We’re a lot closer now.”
TSN’s Frank Seravalli confirms that the Flyers worked with the league on this situation and also cleared up lingering questions about how this may impact the Lightning:
Is your head spinning yet? Imagine being Sam Gagner right now.