Fantasy Impact: The Edmonton Oilers have traded Sam Gagner to Tampa for Teddy Purcell, but then TB quickly moved him to Arizona. Per Bob McKenzie
The Oilers get: a talented winger who is in his prime, but coming off a weaker season in which his ice time and power-play time had eroded slightly due to the arrival of several talented youngers. Purcell is a setup man who, when matched with the right scorer, could reach the 45-assist mark.
The Coyotes get: a centerman with upside, yet we’re still waiting for that big step. Gagner is overrated in fantasy hockey, thanks in part to his eight-point game a couple of years back, as well as his high draft position (sixth overall in 2007). However, he has tallied between a low of 37 points (last season) and 49 points (as a rookie) in each of his seven NHL seasons. The Coyotes also acquired BJ Crombeen in this deal.
The Lightning get: a lot of cap space cleared. They were indeed looking to buyout Gagner (at one-third of his contract vs. Purcell, who is 28, would have been two-thirds)…but instead, managed to get a sixth-round pick for him as long as the Coyotes took Crombeen off their hands as well. Methinks that the Lightning are clearing cap space for an expensive defenseman…
The Lightning will retain one-third of Gagner’s contract, so Phoenix gets Gagner at two-thirds the price.
Fantasy Players Impacted: As I often preach here, Gagner is getting a fresh start. Ditto for Purcell. The move should help both of them. And while the Coyotes try to figure out if Gagner is a fit as a first-line center now that Mike Ribeiro is gone, he’ll be eating up the power-play time of Antoine Vermette. Potential line combos for Arizona:
Shane Doan – Gagner – Mikkel Boedker
Lauri Korpikoski – Vermette – Martin Erat
Max Domi – Martin Hanzal – Jordan Szwarz
Yes, it looks that bad with Radim Vrbata and Mike Ribeiro gone. Look for the Coyotes to continue to be active – Domi is not at all certain of a roster spot.
And potential TB line combos with Purcell gone:
Ondrej Palat – Steven Stamkos – Tyler Johnson
Alex Killorn – Val Filppula – Ryan Callahan
Jonathan Drouin – Brett Connolly – Nikita Kucherov
This gives the Lightning three real solid scoring lines, with some unproven high-end talent on one of them – a “kid line”, if you will.
Purcell will slide onto the wing on the Oilers second line, which is a threat to Nail Yakupov’s ice time and PP time. Yakupov really will have to earn it – unless the Oilers aren’t done yet and Yakupov is dealt.