Report: Coyotes may buy out Gagner

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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