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.
For a minute there, it seemed like the Philadelphia Flyers might enter an era in which splashy moves rarely happened.
Maybe those days are still largely over, but the past echoes in an eyebrow-raising deal: the Flyers send Nicklas Grossmann and the contract of Chris Pronger (their phrasing) to the Arizona Coyotes for Sam Gagner and a conditional draft pick in 2016 and 2017.
These are believed to be the conditions:
The Flyers also retained some money in the deal:
Philly’s side: While the Flyers have been able to stash Pronger’s cap hit on LTIR once the season starts, they’ve been somewhat limited in their moves during each summer thanks to that albatross (not to mention Nicklas Grossmann’s $3 million cap hit). Philadelphia gets an interesting piece in Gagner; it’s easy to forget that the flawed-yet-skilled forward is still just 25.
Let’s just say a lot of Flyers fans are excited.
Arizona’s side: The Coyotes can spin Dave Tippett’s approval of Grossman all they’d like, but it’s ultimately about money.
Pronger’s cap hit is $4.94 million, but his salary is just $575K for the next two campaigns. There’s no sense denying how much money this franchise needs to save – at least in the near future – and Pronger’s deal is very helpful in that regard.
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