Skip to content

Gagner looking for fresh start in Arizona

Aug 31, 2014, 3:02 PM EST

Sam Gagner AP

After being traded twice on the same day in June, center Sam Gagner is hoping to put his struggles in Edmonton behind him with a fresh start in Arizona.

Gagner was dealt from the Oilers to the Lightning and then to Arizona in the span of an hour on June 29.

“Obviously the last couple years in Edmonton haven’t been great, so I’m excited for a fresh start,” Gagner told NHL.com.  “I’m at that phase of my career where I need to take a step forward, and I feel like Arizona is the place to do that.”

In 481 games with Edmonton, the 25-year-old scored 101 goals and 295 points over seven seasons.

Originally a first-round pick of the Oilers (6th overall in 2007), Gagner never materialized into the point-producing forward he was projected as after averaging more than two points per-game with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.

The 5-foot-11, 202-pound Ontario native matched a career-low with 10 goals in 2013-14 while battling with a broken jaw suffered in the preseason.

Gagner’s not the only one hoping a change of scenery will do him well.

Coyotes head coach, Dave Tippett feels more minutes will help Gagner flourish.

“If you look at Gagner in Edmonton, they have some top, top talent with guys like (Ryan) Nugent-Hopkins, (Taylor) Hall, (Jordan) Eberle,” Tippett said. “So we hope that Sam can get some of those key minutes that those players got in Edmonton that will allow him to flourish here.

“It’s always a calculated risk, and we hope the change of scenery will do Sam good.”

NHL.com’s Corey Masisak projects Gagner could move from his natural center position to the wing if rookie centers Max Domi or Henrik Samuelsson are ready for the NHL. As Masisak points out, Gagner’s faceoff numbers are not strong and his defensive game has struggled at times, Gagner was a minus-29  last season.

With the departure of Radim Vrbata and Mike Ribeiro, Gagner will be counted on to contribute in Arizona.

“I’m really excited for it, I think they play a solid two-way game and compete really hard,” Gagner said. “I enjoy playing that way, I think it’s really important to be competitive and work hard on and off the ice. I think it really fits well, and it’s just a matter of making the most of it.”

Related: How will Arizona replace the offence lost this summer?

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Kontiola joins KHL club Lokomotiv

    Nov 27, 2014, 7:30 PM EST

    Petri Kontiola Getty Images

    Struggled in the American Hockey League this season.

  2. Sens confirm Alfredsson to be honored Dec. 4

    Nov 27, 2014, 6:30 PM EST

    Daniel Alfredsson AP

    Expected to formally announce his retirement next Thursday morning.

  3. Coyotes ‘hope we can make a deal’ with trade target Vermette

    Nov 27, 2014, 5:15 PM EST

    Antoine Vermette

    Talented center would be a prized pickup at the deadline.

  4. Remparts sold to Quebecor, will move to new Quebec City arena

    Nov 27, 2014, 4:00 PM EST

    Quebec Remparts v Drummondville Voltigeurs Getty Images

    Patrick Roy doesn’t own part of a junior team anymore.

  5. Lowry suspended one game for boarding Kaleta

    Nov 27, 2014, 2:41 PM EST

    Lowry-Kaleta

    Incident occurred during Wednesday’s Jets-Sabres game.

  6. Canucks’ Kassian out a ‘few weeks’ with finger injury

    Nov 27, 2014, 2:27 PM EST

    zackkassiangetty Getty Images

    Linden Vey gets back into the lineup for tomorrow’s game in Columbus.

  7. Garbutt suspended two games for ‘reckless’ knee-on-knee hit

    Nov 27, 2014, 2:12 PM EST

    GarbuttHallKnee

    Dallas forward has history as a repeat offender.

  8. Not so big and bad anymore, the Bruins would like to add some ‘heaviness’

    Nov 27, 2014, 2:03 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two Getty Images

    That’s a picture of Shawn Thornton, who doesn’t play for them anymore.

  9. After ‘disappointing’ road trip, is DeBoer on the hot seat?

    Nov 27, 2014, 1:16 PM EST

    Peter DeBoer AP

    Devils currently sit 12th in the Eastern Conference.

  10. Flyers waive Akeson

    Nov 27, 2014, 12:29 PM EST

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Played in 14 games over parts of the last three seasons.

  11. Report: Justin Schultz to be healthy scratch versus Preds

    Nov 27, 2014, 12:17 PM EST

    Justin Schultz AP

    Following Tuesday’s “mind-numbing” change in Dallas.

  12. After 21-game absence, Fisher (ruptured Achilles) back for Preds

    Nov 27, 2014, 12:02 PM EST

    Mike Fisher Getty Images

    Big boost for Nashville, who hosts Edmonton tonight.

  13. With Luongo hurt, Panthers recall Ellis

    Nov 27, 2014, 11:18 AM EST

    Roberto Luongo Roberto Luongo

    Florida’s No. 1 left Wednesday’s game early.

  14. Flames won’t put timetable on Backlund (abdominal surgery) return

    Nov 27, 2014, 11:10 AM EST

    Mikael Backlund Getty Images

    Center had a career-high 18 goals and 39 points last year.

  15. PHT shares #WhyImThankful

    Nov 27, 2014, 10:59 AM EST

    Jaromir Jagr Sightings In Prague Getty Images

    Not listed: glorious gluttony.

Featured video

Eakins on his way out of Edmonton?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (2751)
  2. V. Hedman (2699)
  3. P. Datsyuk (2629)
  4. P. Sharp (2396)
  5. D. Krejci (2233)
  1. Z. Chara (1913)
  2. B. Marchand (1878)
  3. B. Dubinsky (1811)
  4. B. Elliott (1805)
  5. S. Varlamov (1757)