After clearing waivers earlier this morning, the Canucks have loaned Sam Gagner to the Toronto Marlies for the foreseeable future.
Rick Dhaliwal from Sportsnet 650 was the first to suggest his might happen this morning:
Source : Hearing if Gagner clears waivers, the #Canucks might help him out and assign him to an AHL team closer to his family in Toronto. It is the right thing to do for a veteran with a young family.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) October 2, 2018
The move was made official a few hours later:
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 2, 2018
As Rick suggests, this move was made to allow Gagner’s move to the AHL a little easier and you can’t get much closer to Toronto then well… Toronto.
Although Utica isn’t exactly across the continent from Toronto, the fact that the Canucks were able to find Gagner a place to play that is easier on his personal life was a good idea. Gagner is still signed for the remainder of this season and next season, and barring a trade, he could very well make his way back up to the NHL at some point over that time.
The Marlies were a little light on centres for the upcoming season, so Gagner should get a decent opportunity to show to the Canucks and other NHL teams that he still belongs in the NHL.
The Utica Comets and Toronto Marlies meet on Friday night in Utica and then again on October 13th and 14th. So the baby Canucks will see a lot of Gagner early in the season.