Friedman: ‘Chicago likes Sam Gagner’

The Chicago Blackhawks fired a coach and made a trade in November, and Stan Bowman doesn’t appear to be finished tinkering.

Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed the possibilities briefly during the latest edition of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast, as part of a trade rumor conversation that began with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“The other one is Chicago,” continued Friedman. “Stan Bowman was at Los Angeles-Arizona on Tuesday night. They had their cap guy on their last trip. They had two people to see Vancouver-L.A.. They had three people to see Calgary-Dallas. And they had two people the next night to see Edmonton-L.A. after the Vancouver game. They see a lot of the Kings.

“Bowman has made a lot of deals. He’s busy. I think he’s working it.

“The other one I do think - I wrote it today, and somebody kind of tipped me over the edge a bit more after it appear in the blog - and that is Chicago likes Sam Gagner. Before he committed to Vancouver in the summer of 2017, he visited Chicago and they liked him. I mean, to me it seems like a no-brainer for Vancouver to do it. But I can bet that they’re fighting over money probably. He’s got another year on his contract.

“But I do think the Blackhawks have some interest in Sam Gagner.”

“Bring him in to pop the power play?” wondered Marek. “Not unlike what he did with Columbus.”

“Give them some juice,” agreed Friedman. “They need some juice.

“But they’re looking at D. If they’re looking at L.A. they’re looking at D there. No question.”

Gagner signed a three-year, $9.45 million contract with the Canucks at the opening of free agency in 2017, so that contract has this season and next left to run with a cap hit of $3.15 million.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly