With nine days to go before the NHL trade deadline, the Vancouver Canucks have pulled the trigger on a deal.
GM Jim Benning has sent Sam Gagner to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Ryan Spooner.
The deal is an exchange of centres who didn’t work out with their respective teams. Both players are signed to expensive contracts, but were each sent to the AHL.
Spooner, 27, had a breakout season with the Boston Bruins just three years ago, scoring 49 points in 80 games. The Ottawa native was productive for a three-year stretch, scoring 129 points in 217 games.
Everything fell apart this season though, just as he began a new two-year contract worth $4 million per season. After scoring just two points in 16 games with the New York Rangers, he was dealt to Edmonton in November for Ryan Strome. Spooner had just three points in 25 games with the Oilers before being sent down to Bakersfield in the AHL, where he has six points in seven games.
Spooner is under contract for the remainder of this season and next, making $4 million, but the Canucks will only pay him $3.1 million, with the Rangers paying the remaining $900,000 as part of a previous trade. Spooner is expected to join the Canucks after they return home from their road trip this week.
Gagner is under contract for this season and next, making $3.15 million per season. The move to Edmonton is a homecoming for Gagner, who returns to the team that drafted him in 2007.