In case you missed it earlier, the Oilers traded Ryan Spooner to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Sam Gagner. (The same Sam Gagner whose jaw was broken by Zack Kassian and who scored 8 points one night.)
You’ll recall that Ryan Spooner was acquired during the Peter Chiarelli era for Ryan Strome (who had been acquired in exchange for Jordan Eberle, the 2008 draft pick received as part of the Chris Pronger trade. That trade tree is fun, and there’s a way to tie Gagner to Mark Messier now, so that’s neat, I guess).
Gagner brings with him some cap relief and a veteran presence on a team that’s sorely lacking. He’d been playing in the AHL, on loan to the Toronto Marlies, where he’d put up almost a point a game for the Leafs affiliate.
It’s probably too little too late to help the Oilers at all, but having a familiar face on the bench and on the ice can’t hurt. Gagner is probably a net zero acquisition talent-wise, but it’s fair to assume that his contributions to the team will be more significant than Spooner’s.
This trade comes on the heels of yesterday’s deal that sent Cam Talbot to the Flyers in exchange for goalie Anthony Stolarz.
Keith Gretzky hasn’t taken too long to make some decisions regarding player personnel. By bringing Gagner back, is he starting the slow process by which the 2013-14 Oilers are reunited? As of right now, only Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Oscar Klefbom and Gagner from that team are with the club.