The Arizona Coyotes announced the acquisition of Sam Gagner and B.J. Crombeen on Sunday night, the club sending a 2015 sixth-round pick to Tampa Bay in exchange for the forwards.
Sunday was the culmination of months - years, even - of trade rumors focusing on Gagner's name, and, in the end, he was traded twice in a matter of hours: from the Edmonton Oilers to the Lightning for Teddy Purcell, and then to Arizona. Gagner has a no-movement clause that would have kicked in on July 1.
Gagner said that while he expected to eventually be dealt from Edmonton, he didn't expect to be traded twice in one day.
Coyotes general manager Don Maloney is excited about what Gagner brings to the club:
We are very pleased to acquire a talented, young center like Sam Gagner. He has the intelligence, character and skill set we were looking for and we believe he has further growth in his game. We look forward to welcoming Sam to Arizona.
The Coyotes had a hole in the middle of their lineup after they bought out center Mike Ribeiro, and talks of Gagner potentially moving to the wing after he was acquired by the Lightning will now likely be put to rest.
Regardless of what you think about Gagner's game, and his contract (he's on the books through 2015-16 at $4.8 million), the Coyotes acquired a soon-to-be 25-year-old center with 481 games under his belt, and who averages 0.61 points-per-game, for a sixth-round pick in the 2015 draft. That's some good general managing.
Maloney said about Crombeen:
B.J. is a great fit for us. He is a big, strong, character player who will be a leader on the ice and in our locker room.
Check out the posts below for more on what turned out to be a three-team trade between the Coyotes, Lightning, and Oilers. Edmonton ended up with Purcell, the Lightning with a sixth-round pick in 2015 (they also reportedly retained a third of Gagner's salary), and the Coyotes with Gagner and Crombeen.