The Edmonton Oilers have traded centre Sam Gagner to the Tampa Bay Lightning for forward Teddy Purcell. Hinted at first by 1260's Dustin Nielson:
Also…a heads up…..Oilers may be close to completing a trade…not sure how significant but somethings up.— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) June 29, 2014
I predicted the trade would come to fruition Friday night after the Oilers drafted centre Leon Draisaitl:
Expect Draisaitl to be in the starting lineup in Edmonton in a protected role when the season starts. Draisaitl's selection likely spells the end for Sam Gagner, and if not, then definitely for Anton Lander.
And OilFaninYYC saw the writing on the wall:
But as I mentioned earlier the Oilers have a history of rushing young players that they feel fill a need on the team and that is why this fear is a legitimate one.
The prediction wasn't difficult to make - Gagner had a no-trade clause set to kick in on July 1st, and given the Oilers' impending cap issues, they needed to get rid of the contract before they were unable to move it.
The Oilers get younger at centre and build depth on the wings with Purcell likely to fill the right wing slot on the second line. Purcell will save the Oilers $300,000 per season for the next two seasons. Purcell is best known for the 2011 playoffs where he totaled 17 points in 18 games, riding a shooting percentage heater of epic proportions.
Purcell also adds four inches in height to a team in pursuit of added inches. There's a beautiful symmetry to the trade and Draisaitl's ascendency:
Dropping Draisaitl into the deep end to replace the first Oiler of the rebuild who was dropped into the deep end would be fitting.
Replacing Gagner as the 2C with their shiny new teenager would be one of the most #Oilers things ever.— Ryan Batty (@ryan_batty) June 28, 2014
TB has traded Sam Gagner to PHX, I mean Arizona. In any case, Gagner is a Coyote. #TSN— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 30, 2014