After letting go of Mike Ribeiro just a couple of days ago, the Arizona Coyotes have found their new center, and it’s Sam Gagner, the former Edmonton Oiler, who was on the Tampa Bay Lightning for less than two hours. The Coyotes traded for Sam Gagner on Sunday night, only 90 minutes after the Lightning had acquired him.
“It’s been a roller coaster of emotions,” Gagner said when asked to describe all the trades over the past couple of days. “I was talking to my agent, and he had said when Tampa traded for me that there might be something else going on. So it was something that I was prepared for. I wasn’t really expecting to be traded [again] today.”
In addition to Gagner, the Coyotes also picked up right wing B.J. Crombeen in the deal. The Lightning got a sixth-round pick in return for the two players.
“We are very pleased to acquire a talented, young center like Sam Gagner,” Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said. “He has the intelligence, character and skill set we were looking for and we believe he has further growth in his game. We look forward to welcoming Sam to Arizona.”
Gagner is just 24 years old. He had 101 goals and 194 assists through his seven seasons with Oilers, including 10 goals and 27 assists in 67 games during the 2013-14 season. He battled injuries throughout the year.
“I hold myself to higher standards than that,” Gagner said.
Gagner had 101 goals and 194 assists in 481 games in seven seasons with the Oilers. Arizona is very optimistic that he’ll be a solid, perhaps even better replacement for Mike Ribiero. And no matter how long Gagner stays in Arizona, one thing is for sure: it’s definitely going to be a lot longer than his time spent in Tampa Bay.
Photo via Gamedayr