Edmonton center Sam Gagner has been a player floated in trade rumors at times this season, and as CBC’s Eliotte Friedman told Dean “Boomer” Molberg and Ryan Pinder on The Fan 960 in Calgary earlier today, the Kings do have “some legitimate interest” in the skilled forward.
The one move I’ve kind of heard [that] has been talked about to some degree and looked close at one point – although I don’t know what happened – was Sam Gagner, and I think L.A. has some interest in him. I think there’s a couple of moving parts there, including ‘Are the Oilers willing to take a key part of the salary to make that work from a cap point of view?’ But I do think the Kings have some legitimate interest in Gagner, and those two teams have talked very seriously.
I don’t know how big the price tag would be. I don’t know the answer to that. I don’t think the Kings want to give up too many guys off their roster, because I think they see themselves very similar to how they were in 2012. Like, remember when they traded for Jeff Carter, they were 29th in the league in goals, and they got hot and they won the Stanley Cup. So I think what they kind of look like is ‘We’re the same kind of team right now. We want to add as opposed to subtract,’ which is why, I think, taking money might be part of the issue here, because the Kings probably want to give up someone or something that won’t take away too much from their current roster.
Gagner, 24, has totaled 281 points (97-184=281) in 458 NHL games – all with Edmonton – since making his NHL debut as an 18-year-old in 2007-08. After posting 38 points in the 48-game 2012-13 season, he has amassed 23 points (6-17=23) in 44 games this season while averaging 18:08 of ice time after missing the first 13 games of the season due to a broken jaw suffered in the preseason.
Gagner, who signed a three-year, 14.4 million dollar contract last July, carries a 4.8 million dollar cap hit through the 2015-16 season. This explains why financials potentially caused complications in negotiations, as the Kings currently have 1.44 million dollars of available cap space, according to CapGeek.com. Gagner has a no-movement clause that kicks in next season.