The rumored deal between the Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings that would send Sam Gagner to LA obviously did not happen before the Olympic Trade Freeze took affect yesterday.
Edmonton is most likely the reason that the deal did not get done. TSN’s Darren Dreger had this to say on Twitter.
It is true that if Gagner continues to play well after the Olympic break, the Oilers could get more than Kyle Clifford, the rumored player to be heading to Edmonton in the deal. Holding onto him until the draft could net them a nice draft pick, but the Oilers don’t need another young player. They need veterans to lead the young players they already have.
It is clearly advantageous if the Oilers trade Gagner prior to the Trade Deadline on March 5. With a no-trade clause kicking in next season on Gagner’s contract, it would be wise to get a deal done as soon as possible.
The Oilers should wait two, maybe three games after the break and then deal Gagner for the highest price they can get. The LA deal might not happen in that case if Gagner went to the Kings, the Oilers would have to hold onto some of his salary. Dreger notes that they don’t want to do that if at all possible.
It looks like Gagner is in his swan song with the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers just hope they can get a good return for him. If they wanted that, it might have been smart to deal him when he was first rumored to be dealt a couple seasons ago.