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Fort Nucks: Deadline games

...Gagner reflects on a stressful trade deadline

by Derek Jory @NoJoryous / Vancouver Canucks

Near the NHL trade deadline, rumours are all the rage.

Did you hear Player is being dealt? Tweets @FakeInsider.

Vancouver is working on a three-player deal, reports @IKnowNothing.

Did you hear Sam Gagner is going to the Kings?! Actually, that one was true.

At the trade deadline of the 2013-14 season, Gagner, then a member of the Edmonton Oilers, had been informed he was traded to Los Angeles. It was a game day, so he sat out and awaited instructions on travel plans to California. They never materialized.

"There was a cap issue with the trade and it fell through," said Gagner, walking to the rink Sunday morning in Arizona. "They said I was on the move and then I wasn't. Trade deadline can be a stressful time for guys and that was for me."

The Kings instead acquired Marian Gaborik from Columbus. That worked out okay for the Kings as Gaborik had 16 points in 19 games to end the regular season before picking up 22 in 26 playoff games.

"They won the Cup that year," added Gagner.

Oh, what could have been.

Gagner would have led the playoffs with 14 goals like Gaborik did, obviously.

"They got Gaborik and he was a major part of that Cup run. Who knows what would have happened if it was me instead of him. I don't think about that."

Not thinking about what could have been works for Gagner and it's great advice for every NHLer as the deadline nears. Don't get ahead of yourself; most of the time trades are out of their control.

Shifting gears, five of the Canucks headed to an arcade near the team hotel in Glendale, Arizona Saturday afternoon after their team meetings. That turned out to be a different type of stressful.

Michael Del Zotto, Sven Baertschi, Derrick Pouliot, Troy Stecher and Gagner made a fantastic party of five; "we knew it was going to be a big day when DZ got 1,000 tickets off the first button he pushed, on a game he'd never played!" said Baertschi.

They played basketball, football, table hockey - you name it, they owned it. The crew was hot, hot, hot, bringing in more than 16,000 tickets, enough for a new speaker for the locker room.

"It's quite average actually," laughed Del Zotto. "It's retro though, has a radio; it looks good."

If it's loud enough to drown out trade deadline rumours, it was a perfectly timed investment.

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