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

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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?