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

17 Comments

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?