In a somewhat confusing move, it looks like the Tampa Bay Lightning have traded winger Teddy Purcell to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for center Sam Gagner.
Upon further glance, I can only go “Huh”? This trade makes so little sense people might be wondering whether general manager Steve Yzerman had too much fun partying in Philadelphia after the draft concluded yesterday afternoon. Either that, or he became too overheated in the blazing hot Florida sun today. Whatever occurred between Friday’s good trade for Jason Garrison and Sunday night, it’s pretty clear the Lightning took a small step back.
With Purcell, the team had a guy capable of possessing the puck and carrying it up ice. Unfortunately that didn’t translate to many scoring opportunities, especially in recent seasons, as his shooting percentage was under eight last season and not much better (11.70) during the lockout-shortened 2012-13′ campaign. Because of this his goal and point totals both suffered, thus making him expendable.
For Sam Gagner though? What’s Yzerman thinking? Gagner’s numbers are similar to that of Purcell, plus he’s a center. Correct me if I’m wrong but don’t the Lightning already have so many centers they don’t have room to fit all of them?
Another interesting thing to note is the fact Gagner’s owed $1M more than Purcell was. So basically SY’s nearing his cap limit, yet still needs to sign a serviceable, halfway decent backup goaltender. Umm, OK.
Now the question on the minds of many would have to be whether Yzerman’s going to settle with swapping mediocre player, or is this all part of a bigger plan? Unknown as it may be right now, those answers will arrive soon enough.
UPDATE, 10:49 pm EST: Well, that didn’t take long. Lots of media outlets, including NHL.com, The Score and ESPN’s Sportscenter, are reporting the Lightning have traded Gagner and forward B.J. Crombeen to the Arizona Coyotes for a 2015 6th round draft pick.