Sam Gagner trade talks cool between Kings and Oilers

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Oilers center Sam Gagner may now be bound for the Nashville Predators. (Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)

Sam Gagner of the Edmonton Oilers

By Allan Muir

The Kings have established themselves as one of the toughest, stingiest teams in the league, but with just 12 goals in their last 10 games, they have a pretty clearly defined need heading into the March 5 trade deadline.

Prior to the Olympic break, it seemed as though they'd found a potential partner in the Oilers, a team that was willing to deal skilled center Sam Gagner for a package of young talent.

But a report out of Los Angeles suggests that the Kings' ardor for Gagner, a former first rounder, has cooled. "Things always have a way of changing, but it now appears doubtful that the Kings will resume their pursuit of Gagner," Lisa Dillman writes.

That may open a window for the Predators, who have also been rumored to have an interest in Gagner. Nashville is thought to be looking for a young, offensive-minded center and it has a surplus of what Edmonton needs: young, talented defenders. The name of 2009 first rounder Ryan Ellis has been mentioned, but while he has a proven chemistry with Oilers winger Taylor Hall from their Memorial Cup-winning days in Windsor of the OHL, Edmonton might be looking for a blueliner who is a bit more defensively responsible. Jonathan Ismael-Daiby might be intriguing to the Oilers as part of a package, as would defensive center Austin Watson.