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Welcome Sam Gagner to the trade rumor mill

Ryan O'Byrne

Colorado Avalanche’s Ryan O’Byrne, left, falls behind Edmonton Oilers’ Sam Gagner during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Edmonton, Alberta, on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Ulan)


A couple of reports -- one from the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman and another from TSN’s Darren Dreger -- has put Oilers center Sam Gagner’s name in the trade rumor mill. (Again.)

The sixth overall pick in the 2007 draft, Gagner is currently Edmonton’s sixth-leading scorer, with 17 points in 33 games. The 24-year-old missed the first 13 games of the season with a broken jaw, courtesy Vancouver’s Zack Kassian.

Given Edmonton’s disastrous 14-27-5 record in a season that was supposed to go much differently, it’s no surprise to hear that Oilers general manager Craig “Man of Action” MacTavish is putting Gagner’s name out there. According to Dreger, “The expected rate of return would be a top-six forward, a top-four defenseman or a starting goalie.”

Gagner signed a three-year, $14.4 million contract in July, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2016.

The Oilers could also trade their first-round pick in this summer’s draft, something MacTavish is more than willing to entertain.

Related: Cue the Shea Weber-to-Edmonton speculation