With the Edmonton Oilers announcing a media availability with GM Craig MacTavish Tuesday, there’s been no end of speculation and rumors about what, exactly, MacT wants to talk about.
Twitter, the tool that for many in the media biz has taken the place of an old-fashioned notion like picking up the telephone and sniffing around, has been abuzz about the possibilities. Let us mention just a few . . .
1. MacTavish will announce Sam Gagner has been signed to a new multi-year deal.
2. MacTavish will announce Sam Gagner has been traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
3. MacTavish will announce Paul Maurice as an addition to the coaching staff of Dallas Eakins.
4. The new phonebooks are here.
Twitter buzz from media types included the following:
Josh Rimmer of Sportsnet tweeted Sunday: "Hearing Leafs have had discussions with Oilers about Sam Gagner. Leafs are looking for a young centre and he certainly fits the bill" and "I do see the Leafs adding one of Gagner, Stastny or Stephen Weiss" and "Vancouver has also has discussions about Gagner as Sam’s dad Dave is part of Canucks MGMT."
Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun wrote: “Edmonton Oiler GM Craig MacTavish to meet with media Tuesday. Let the speculation begin. Horcoff deal done? Hemsky? Draft update?”
Oiler fan, author and Scott McKeen supporter David Staples of The Journal added:" #Leafs kicking the tires on Sam Gagner, Toronto sports insider says. But does it mean much? #Oilers."
MY BEST GUESS
My best guess, and that’s all it is because MacTavish was tight-lipped even when I was on the beat and he certainly isn’t whispering in my ear now as the GM, is we’ll be getting news about Gagner – that he’s staying rather than going to Toronto, or anywhere else for that matter.
MacTavish is on the record as seeing Gagner as a piece of Edmonton’s puzzle moving forward. He’s also on the record as saying it’s probably best that both Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky move along.
If Horcoff is being bought out or traded, there’s no way, zippo, that the Oilers are going to take both Gagner and Horcoff out of the mix at centre, leaving Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and not much of anything else down the middle. That, of course, assumes there isn’t a pivot coming back in any trade.
The next best bet, from where I sit, is an announcement about an addition to the coaching staff. Maurice has the inside track there (although I do wonder if MacTavish put in a call to Columbus to get permission to talk to Keith Acton).
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