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Elliotte Friedman: 'Teams need scoring, and [Sam Gagner] can provide it'

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Could the Flyers perhaps flip Gagner for an asset this season?

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Things have really not worked out during Sam Gagner's tenure with the Philadelphia Flyers. A former sixth overall pick, he used to be good for at least 40 points or so a season. That wasn't just the case with Edmonton, though; he scored 41 points in 81 games with the Arizona Coyotes before he ended up flipped to Philadelphia.

Where he has scored a mere two goals and five points through 18 games, and hasn't played a game since Nov. 23 - and all for a $3.2 million cap hit in the NHL.

That's not even remotely close to good enough, and it's one of the reasons Gagner has found himself in the AHL: to help alleviate some of the Flyers' cap situation, so Shayne Gostisbehere could stay up.

But that doesn't mean Gagner is a bad player, just an expensive one. And as Elliotte Friedman noted in his 30 Thoughts column (#5), he's someone other teams could be after:

Flyers GM Ron Hextall hinted there was a trade possibility. Gagner, who has not played an NHL game since Nov. 23, recognizes the need to get on the ice, no matter what the level. It might take time, but he’ll get a shot somewhere. Teams need scoring, and he can provide it.

That cap hit really is a problem, though, as you'd think contending teams looking to add scoring depth would already be pretty close to the cap, and the Flyers really aren't in a position to retain salary. (That's why he's been buried, after all.) But being buried does force the Flyers to keep some of his salary on cap - $2.25 million, to be exact - so salary retention isn't exactly out of the question.

And if the Flyers can get something back for him, well, then it'll be a win.

Gagner has one assist through three games thus far with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.