Tag: Sam Gagner

Edmonton Oilers v Philadelphia Flyers

Del Zotto deal is a reminder: Flyers are in salary cap jail


Every GM experiences a hiccup or two, but there are many signs that Ron Hextall has a sound plan for the Philadelphia Flyers. Unfortunately, Paul Holmgren left behind quite the mess.

Michael Del Zotto’s two-year contract more or less takes up Philly’s cap space for 2015-16 (unless Hextall clears some room with a move or two). That spending has to sting, especially since this largely similar roster failed to earn a playoff bid last season.

By signing Del Zotto to a two-year deal at that $3.875 million cap hit, this also reminds us that the Flyers could take some time to break themselves out of salary cap jail. At the moment, the outlook doesn’t look so great for 2016-17 and maybe beyond:

Indeed, $48.5 million for 13 players is rough when you start to forecast a possible deal for Jakub Voracek, assuming the Flyers can find a compromise with their outstanding winger.

It doesn’t stop there, either.

The summer of 2016 could be challenging

While Sam Gagner’s $3.2 million cap hit could very well be funneled into other bank accounts, the Flyers really might need to fork over some money to keep RFAs Brayden Schenn ($2.5 million next season) and Sean Couturier (a steal at $1.75 million in 2015-16) in the fold.

Much-criticized deals, especially Andrew MacDonald’s $5 million cap hit, only sting that much more when you start to think about the raises Philly may need to hand out.

New life – but also uncertainty – in a few years

Beyond those payouts, there’s also the fact that many contracts run out after 2016-17 … although maybe that’s the time when we’ll really get a sense of what Hextall can do?

That’s actually the enticing thing for Flyers fans: the impressive array of draft picks Hextall has been compiling might start to really pay off by right at the time when the organization could finally enjoy some financial breathing room. Hextall is doing what he can with the situation he’s been given, so it’s intriguing to imagine what he might do with more cash to burn.

You know, if he makes it that far.

No buyout: Flyers will keep Gagner

Arizona Coyotes v Buffalo Sabres

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.

Gagner: ‘I have a lot of people to prove wrong’

Sam Gagner

Sam Gagner has demonstrated a high level of play at points in his career. He had four goals and eight points in a single game back in Feb. 2, 2012, and recorded 38 points in 48 contests during the lockout shortened 2013 season.

That sparked Edmonton to ink him to a three-year, $14.4 million deal, but the Oilers shipped him to Tampa Bay the following summer, which in turn moved him to Arizona. On Saturday he endured his third trade in less than a year as he was shipped to Philadelphia and while he hopes the Flyers keep him, he’s aware that the final season of his contract might be bought out.

“I still have a lot to prove and now obviously, it’s a little more heightened,” Gagner told CSN Philly. “I think that I have a lot of people to prove wrong.”

Coyotes GM Don Maloney can be counted as part of that list as he “didn’t think (Gagner) could play center at the National Hockey League level for us.”

If he does get bought out, that likely won’t be the last we see of him. Gagner will still be just 26 years old by the time the 2015-16 campaign starts and it’s not as if his performance was a disaster last season. He was adjusting to a new organization for the first time in his career and playing on an offensively anemic squad, but he still recorded 15 goals and 41 points in 81 games. No other Coyotes forward reached the 40-point mark.

“It’s not the easiest of times,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it’s going to make me stronger.”

Related: So, what happens if Philly buys out Gagner?

Maloney on Gagner: ‘We didn’t think he could play center’

Don Maloney

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?

So, what happens if Philly buys out Gagner?

Sam 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.