The alarm and excitement of Edmonton Oilers fans is starting to get a bit crazy, with wild rumours sprouting up about the Oilers trying to acquire players like Dion Phaneuf or Jake Gardiner from Toronto and Zack Smith from Ottawa, with Sam Gagner or Ales Hemsky moving in the other direction.

All of this is unsubstantiated hullabaloo from Twitter, but some of it comes from Josh Rimer, a guest booker on Sportsnet and host of NiteCap on out of Toronto. I’d never heard of the guy until he was the one who broke the news that Ralph Krueger was going to be fired.

That certainly got my attention in regards to Mr. Rimer.

On Sunday afternoon, Rimer tweeted out: ”Hearing Leafs have had discussions with Oilers about Sam Gagner. Leafs are looking for a young centre and he certainly fits the bill. … I do see the Leafs adding one of Gagner, Stastny or Stephen Weiss. … Vancouver has also has discussions about Gagner as Sam’s dad Dave is part of Canucks MGMT.”

A few hours later, Terry Jones of the Sun said on Twitter: “Edmonton Oiler GM Craig MacTavish to meet with media Tuesday. Let the speculation begin. Horcoff deal done? Hemsky? Draft update?”


Gagner is a Restricted Free Agent. He’s a good young player, with the makings of a solid attacking forward for the next half-dozen years. He had an up and down season and had real trouble at times in his own zone, but perhaps a coach like Dallas Eakins could help him with that, either by better schooling him at centre or by moving him to a less onerous position on the wing.

It would make sense that other teams, such as Toronto, would be keenly interested in acquiring a player like Gagner. In that sense, what Rimmer says isn’t news at all. Of course the Leafs would be asking about Gagner.

In regards to this rumour, TSN’s Darren Dreger tweeted out that “anything is possible,” but quickly added the Oilers and Gagner’s agent are working on a contract.

Dreger also tweeted today: ”Some rumblings Phaneuf may be in play. Nonis says he will trade just about anyone, but says no one has called on the captain…yet.”

It’s unlikely the Oilers would want to move a promising player like Gagner, and especially one that so much has been invested in, especially when Gagner should now be entering his peak years as a two-way player. It was MacTavish who first promoted an 18-year-old Gagner to the NHL, so the player is certainly known to the new GM.