Red Wings: Another Detroit Trade Chip, Sam Gagner

Nov 18, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Sam Gagner (89) is pictured during team warmups before the start of a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 18, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Sam Gagner (89) is pictured during team warmups before the start of a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /
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The trade deadline is tomorrow at 3:00 PM ET and Detroit General Manager Steve Yzerman is putting the finishing touches on what might be his busiest day as a Red Wings executive.  Here is a look at what may happen to Sam Gagner in the next 24 hours.

Why trading Gagner is a good idea

Sam Gagner is enjoying a solid if unspectacular season playing with the Red Wings.  Currently playing on a line with Jakub Vrana and Joe Veleno, Gagner has been Mr. Everything for Detroit.  Not only does he play 3rd line minutes of between 13-15 minutes per night, but he blocks shots, kills penalties, and chips in offensively on a semi-regular basis.

Gagner has been quite durable this year, playing all 62 games for the Red Wings.  Gagner has scored seven goals, 16 assists, 23 points, and a -7 rating.

Gagner is currently in his 15th NHL season at a very affordable $850,000 cap hit.

Although Gagner has only played 11 NHL playoff games in two seasons of making the playoffs, he would undoubtedly bring a veteran presence to any team making the playoffs.  Gagner brings veteran leadership, occasional scoring and defensive depth at the forward position.

Gagner is currently 32 and seems to have revived a career that only three seasons ago seemed to be slipping away.

If Detroit trades Gagner in this market, you can expect a mid-round pick in return.  Gagner will be a UFA after the season and could return to the Red Wings if there is a mutual agreement for next year.

Why keeping Gagner may happen

Sam Gagner has a very affordable contract of $850,00.  Even though Gagner can become a UFA at the end of the season, it is unlikely that Yzerman would make him available unless he is blown away by a trade offer.

Last season, Yzerman faced the same situation and Gagner was not traded.  It wouldn’t surprise me that Gagner remains with the Red Wings beyound tomorrow’s deadline.

In 110 career games with Detroit over the past three seasons, Gagner has scored 15 goals, 24 assists, 39 points, and a -12 rating.  For his career, Gagner has played 948 games, scored 178 goals, 319 assists, and 497 points.

In all likelihood, the Red Wings will allow Gagner to hit free agency and re-sign him to another one-year extension for next year.  Gagner provides veteran leadership to what will likely be a very young Detroit roster next year.  In my opinion. Gagner will also probably be an alternate captain for the Red Wings if he is retained for his 16th NHL season.  It would also be nice to watch Gagner play his 1,000th NHL game in a Detroit uniform before mid-season next year.

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