On this day in 2019, the Edmonton Oilers trade Ryan Spooner to the Vancouver Canucks for Sam Gagner

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
5 months ago
Five years ago today, the Oilers traded Ryan Spooner to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Sam Gagner.
One could say that Spooner’s time with the Oilers was somewhat disappointing, but that might be putting it lightly. The 27-year-old forward joined the Oilers four months previous in a trade that sent Ryan Strome to the New York Rangers, completed as an attempt to find a forward who could play within the Oilers’ top two lines and fill the role of a skillful winger. 
Unfortunately, despite thinking Spooner was the answer, things didn’t go as planned. Although he spent the first few games paired up alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Chiasson, he was nothing more than a complimentary winger and was ineffective in the lineup.
After firing Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli, Spooner was reassigned to the American Hockey Leagues Bakersfield Condors after scoring two goals and three points throughout 25 games with the Oilers.
He spent several games with the Condors scoring two goals and six points but was ultimately shipped off to the Canucks where he remained for 11 games posting four points. Vancouver later placed the forward on waivers with the intention of buying out the final year of his contract. 
Gagner was a rather familiar face that Oilers fans loved to see make his way back to the City of Champions. He quickly became a solid bottom-six player, scoring five goals and 10 points throughout the remaining 25 games of the season. 
“I was very excited about the trade,” Gagner told the Edmonton Sun’s Derek Van Diest at the time of the swap. “I think it’s one of those places that feels like home for me, and I have a lot of great memories from my first time around, and it’s obviously been a tough year.
“When you get an opportunity like this, we still have an opportunity to gain some points and gain some ground on the teams ahead of us. That’s an exciting challenge, and I’m really happy about it.”
Gagner was originally the Oilers’ sixth overall selection in the 2007 draft and had established himself as a fan favourite in his initial seven seasons with the club. He was traded in 2014 to Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Teddy Purcell — later traded the same day to the Arizona Coyotes — which put a sour taste in fans mouths. 
Gagner stuck around for parts of the 2019-20 campaign, chalking up five goals and 12 points across 36 games. Unfortunately for fans, Gagner once again became a trade piece for the Oilers to acquire Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffner from the Detroit Red Wings in 2020.
Like a dramatic love story, Gagner was lost and then found by the Oilers throughout his 17 seasons in the NHL. Destiny may have made the organization and Gagner part ways.
Still, their paths will always cross again, as they did in October 2023 when Gagner saw himself wearing the blue and orange sweater for the third time in his career. 

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