Canucks center Sam Gagner is known to be available after he was sent back to the AHL earlier this month. In an appearance on TSN 1040 (audio link), TSN’s Darren Dreger suggested that Ottawa could make sense as a fit for the 29-year-old given their rash of injuries up front. He also added that it would take them retaining on his $3.15MM per year (through 2019-20) to get something done. Gagner hasn’t fared too poorly in his NHL action this season but clearly, Vancouver is prioritizing defensive play with their forwards at the bottom of the lineup which has left him on the outside looking in. If the Sens don’t have much interest, it’s likely that Vancouver will have to wait until some other teams get hit with injuries and look to make an opportunistic deal.
Elsewhere in the Pacific:
- The Oilers announced that they have placed defenseman Kris Russell on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury. With fellow blueliner Oscar Klefbom being placed on IR yesterday, Edmonton’s defensive depth is starting to run thin. On the flip side, they are getting a regular back in Tobias Rieder, who was activated to take Russell’s spot on the roster. The winger missed the last dozen games with an upper-body issue and is slated to suit up on their fourth line tonight against Winnipeg.
- The recent emergence of defenseman Radim Simek could make it easier for the Sharks to move one of Tim Heed or Joakim Ryan, suggests Paul Gackle of The Mercury News. The 26-year-old rookie has played in the last five games and has fared well, picking up a pair of points while averaging 15:34 per night and in the process, he has given San Jose another third pairing option for their back end. The team is currently carrying eight blueliners and could perhaps flip some of that extra depth for some desired help down the middle. Both Heed (27) and Ryan (25) are on expiring contracts at the league minimum $650K with Ryan still being eligible for restricted free agency next summer.