Gagner left a game Saturday night after taking a stick to the face from Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian. The Oilers were already expected to be without No. 1 center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the first month of the season as he continues to rehab from shoulder surgery.
Taylor Hall is likely to move to center in Nugent-Hopkins' place, but who replaces Gagner remains to be seen. Gagner had 14 goals and 38 points in 48 games for the Oilers in 2012-13, and is in the first season of a three-year contract with an average annual value of $4.8 million.
You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.
— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense