Lightning quick: Bolts flip Gagner to Coyotes
Well, that didn’t take long.
At first it seemed like the Tampa Bay Lightning traded Ted Purcell for Sam Gagner to possibly buy the Edmonton forward out. The more sensible thing (considering Ted Purcell’s comparable contract), was to move Gagner via another trade -- and that’s exactly what happened, as the Bolts sent him to the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.
Here are the particulars of the deal, via Fox Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan:
Update: Per ESPN, Tampa Bay will retain one-third of Gagner’s salary ($1.6 million) in the deal.
With the move, the Lightning have cleared considerable cap space to work with when free agent frenzy opens on July 1, or in a trade. It seems likely the Bolts will target a blueliner -- the defense needs help and it only has one right-handed shot under contract for next season in Radko Gudas. Tampa Bay was rumored to be interested in going after veteran righty Dan Boyle, but could also now get involved in the Matt Niskanen sweepstakes.
For Arizona, the club gets a potential top-line center in Gagner to replace the outgoing Mike Ribeiro, who on Friday was bought out of the remaining three years of his contract.
Now that we’ve settled the broader particulars, let’s delight in some of the jokes from this odd scene:
[Sam Gagner steps off plane, storms directly into Steve Yzerman's office] - "you left me off Team Canada" - [Yzerman picks up phone]— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) June 30, 2014
I just hope Sam Gagner bought a fully refundable ticket to Tampa.— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) June 30, 2014
Dave Gagner was traded twice in five months during 1995-96 season. Looks like Sam broke the family record.— Tal Pinchevsky (@TalPinch) June 30, 2014
Circling back: We know that Gagner is now a member of the Arizona Coyotes and Purcell is with the Edmonton Oilers. Meanwhile, the Lightning save some money.
Everyone good now?
*Takes a breath*