Edmonton - June 29, 2014 - Today Craig MacTavish made a bold move…finally.
He went out and grabbed a big, two-way, scoring winger from the Tampa Bay Lightning in Teddy Purcell in exchange for the one and only Sam Gagner.
Sam will be missed as he was a classy and respected guy in the room and never once complained while he was here but it was time for the Oilers to move on.
With all the mumbles from fans and experts alike about him possibly being shipped off to the Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres or New York Islanders, MacT did Gagner a solid in sending him to the Tampa Bay Lightning…though his stay was quite short. Regardless of how this all played out and that end of the day, all that can be said is thank you for the years of service Sam!!!
Alright, but now it’s time to move on and focus on the trade acquisition, Teddy Purcell. He is a 28 year old 6”3 205 lb. two-way scoring winger, with career highs of 24 goals and 41 assists, both coming in 2011, and was on pace for around 60 point campaign during the lockout season. Now he isn’t a center, but adds a little more age and professional experience to the lineup, and some much needed size to the top 6 but doesn’t play an overly physical style.
Purcell has shown the ability to play with skilled players and play a solid game. Even during his struggles, Jon Cooper still had enough trust and confidence in him to use him consistently. He has playoff experience, a winning attitude and has not only paid his dues but has also done whatever has been asked of him in order to stay in the NHL. I only see a benefit from Purcell being added into the lineup, as it gives the Oilers more depth and size, while alleviating the pressure off a guy like Nail Yakupov, who is still clearly trying to find his way as an NHL regular.
Make no mistake, this is more or less a stop gap move, as Purcell will be 30 when his contract is up in two years’ time but he is a piece that is going to help this team tremendously and Oiler fans should be get excited about his arrival. Not many people seem to understand just how good of a player he is. Here’s to hoping there is more to come..
** Sam Gagner has now been traded to the Arizona Coyotes, as a replacement for Mike Ribiero who was just recently bought out** Good luck Sam in Arizona, you will be missed