The Canucks have made a trade this Saturday morning:
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 16, 2019
Ryan Spooner is a player that GM Jim Benning is familiar with as he was drafted by the Bruins in 2010 while Benning was working for that organization. At last year’s trading deadline, Spooner was sent to the New York Rangers as part of the Rick Nash deal. He was sent to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Ryan Strome earlier this year. Spooner has struggled this season with both the Rangers and Oilers which eventually led to him being waived and assigned to the AHL.
In 41 games between the Rangers and Oilers this season, he has three goals and two assists. In seven AHL games since being sent to Bakersfield, he has two goals and four assists.
Sam Gagner was signed as a free agent by the Canucks in the summer of 2017. After a reasonably effective year last season that saw him post ten goals and twenty-one assists, it was clear that he wasn’t in the Canucks plans going forward. He was waived to start the season and then loaned to the Toronto Marlies. He did end up appearing in seven games for the Canucks this season but was dispatched back to the Marlies.
This deal gives both players a fresh start with new organizations and both teams are likely hoping to extract value from players with one year left on their deal. Spooner provides some centre depth for the Comets in the short term and will be coming up to the Canucks after their road trip.
Plan is for Canucks to call up Ryan Spooner after this road trip. They get a player who may help them in the NHL for one, Sam Gagner, who was done in Vancouver. Fresh start for both.
— Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) February 16, 2019
While Gagner probably gets back up to the NHL after falling out of favour with the Canucks.
In that aforementioned deal between New York and Edmonton, the Rangers retained $900,000 (of the full year salary) on Spooner’s $4.0M annual average value contract, so the Canucks earn a cap savings of $50,000 for the 2019-20 season.
So the cap hit difference is negligible for both teams and allows a chance for both players to start fresh in a new city.